Women In Business, WIMBIZ, a Nigerian non-profit organisation working to inspire women to attain leadership roles in Management, Business and Public Service, last week celebrated nine outstanding professional women who took mantle of leadership in the banking sector.
One of the outstanding female top bankers recognised by WINBIZ was Risikatu Ladi Ahmed.
Risi Ahmed was recently appointed as the first female Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ASO Savings & Loans Plc. With her appointment, Risikatu becomes the first female to be appointed as the CEO of a primary mortgage bank in recent times.
Other women on the WIMBIZ list of honour are: Ireti Samuel Ogbu of Citibank Nigeria; Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe of Fidelity Bank Plc; Yemisi Edun of First City Monument Bank; Bukola Smith of FSDH Merchant Bank; Miriam Olusanya of Guaranty Trust Bank; Kafilat Araoye of Lotus ank; Halima Buba of SunTrust Bank and Tomi Somefun of Unity Bank.
These distinguished female professionals are taking over the banking sector at a critical point in the nation’s economic trajectory and their appointments by the Boards of their institutions are adjudged as a vote of confidence on the abilities of female professionals to steer the ship of the financial sector at a most challenging time.
Primary Mortgage banks have been in focus in recent times. The need to provide affordable houses has become a critical deliverable by the governments at various levels and this has made the mortgage institution a very critical financial sector in the economy.
The choice of a woman as the head of a mortgage bank is a big stride in the Mortgage community because women are considered as stronger in long term plans execution and paying attention to details.
Finance industry analysts posit that ASO Savings & Loans has taken a bolder step by appointing a woman as the bank’s CEO.
Risikatu Ahmed has over two decades banking experience. Attaining the peak of her career as the first female Managing Director of ASO Savings & Loans Plc is a bold statement that, irrespective of gender, a focused professional can aspire to top positions.
Prior to her appointment as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ASO Savings & Loans Plc, she was an Executive Director of the bank.
An alumna of Lagos Business School (SMP), University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Advanced Management Program, Risikatu has also gone through leadership courses in Harvard Business School.
The nine women who have taken over at the major money deposit and mortgage banks are distinguished professionals who have, through dint of hard work and resilience, climbed the corporate ladders to the peak of their careers. Risikatu is the only one of the nine that heads a Mortgage bank, while others are CEOs of money deposit banks.
Studies show that gender diversity (and all diversities) initiative in corporate governance is smart business. Women have different life experiences, and often bring different skill sets, ways of thinking, and approaches to problem solving. Researches also indicate that women top executives tend to be more prudent, transparent and unyielding in achieving corporate goals.
WINBIZ considers these female achievers as worthy of celebration as well as a source of inspiration and role models to women professionals who are aiming at reaching the pinnacles of their careers.