In commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, one lucky girl, ten-year-old Stacia Nampijja was given control of Uganda’s leading financial institution, Stanbic Bank as acting Chief Executive for the day.
She chaired a meeting of the bank’s top decision-making body EXCO, met with senior Stanbic staff and visited the banks garden city branch where she interacted with customers.
Speaking before handing over his responsibilities to Stacia, Patrick Mweheire the chief executive of Stanbic emphasized the importance of providing mentorship and inspiration to the youth especially young girls who face multiple challenges as they grow up.
Mr Mweheire said: “Despite the gains made over the past two decades, Uganda as a society is still a long way to go towards achieving equality both within and outside the workplace.”
“As a bank, we have therefore committed ourselves towards helping to encouraging more women in the workplace and level the human resource capital playing field. We have also put in place policies and measures that ensure women stand an equal chance when applying for jobs in the bank. This is the reason why women constitute 51% of our current workforce.” Patrick added.
“Stanbic employs over 931 women, something we are very proud of. Stanbic is also committed to developing employee capabilities through training and capacity development programmes. Last year, we trained over 678 female employees and invested a total of UGX 2.7 Billion in all employee training programmes.
“Furthermore, we are pleased that over 44% of females in the workforce are in managerial positions and we continue to see this number grow,” he said.
The International Day of the Girl Child is a significant day celebrated annually on 11th October that aims to raise awareness about the issues faced by girls around the world. A bigger percentage of the global development initiatives do not include or consider girls, and as such their issues become “invisible” and this must be addressed.
As part of the activities preceding this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, girls in different parts of the country are being supported to momentarily assume leadership positions in social, economic or political roles at different levels under the theme of “takeover” by Plan International Uganda and partners.
The takeovers intend to amplify girls’ voices to decision-makers, the private sector, media and the public. They aim to change perceptions about what is possible for girls, and to transform power relations. The takeovers highlight girls’ leadership potential as key social actors in development.
Speaking at the handover, Rashid Javed Country Director of Plan International Uganda said, “The girl child still faces challenges in her quest to complete education, acquire the appropriate work readiness skills and gain employment in a progressive work environment.
Unfortunately, by 17 years of age, nearly 50% of girls are out of school. As a result, they have unexploited skills and many of them end up being employed as domestic servants being paid little or no salaries and in some cases they are sexually abused.”
“Tackling the barriers to education for girls is not just a human rights obligation for the government of Uganda. Girls and women are a powerful force behind economic development and sustainability when empowered with the right skills and opportunities. All they require is a conducive work environment to enable them reach their full potential.” Rashid concluded.
Addressing a press briefing after taking overemphasized the invaluable contribution young girls and women can make in the corporate sector if given the chance. She thanked Stanbic for the opportunity and promised not to let them down by using the experience as the “Chief Executive” of the bank productively to shape her future career.