FirstBank recognizes the significant role women play in the development of the society, therefore prioritizes women empowerment through initiatives, policies, and products.
FirstBank recognizes the significant role women play in the development of the society, therefore prioritizes women empowerment through initiatives, policies, and products. To this end, the Bank appointed Mrs. Ibukun Awosika as the Chairman of its Board of Directors. The Chairman has shown her commitment to empowering women by being at the forefront in driving the product.
To further demonstrate the Bank’s commitment to women empowerment, the Board in line with its corporate responsibility & sustainability goals, has appointed the Board Risk Management Committee (Committee) at the Board level; as well as the corporate responsibility & sustainability committee headed by the CRO of the Bank to oversee Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability. Women economic empowerment is vital to the agenda of the committees which have a charter that summarises the functions and expected responsibilities, the committee is empowered to successfully embed and implement CR&S objectives across the bank’s operations and activities.
FirstBank is a great advocate in the Nigeria finance industry in the global movement for gender equality and economic empowerment envisioned through the introduction of a uniquely designed bespoke product by the Bank as a platform to advance the course of women of all demographics in different sectors of the economy amongst other initiatives. The market impact of FirstGem in the 2-year anniversary of the product launch has witnessed tremendous growth in numbers and volumes. As at September 30, 2018, 44,356 women (corporate and individual, including staff) currently own and operate the FirstGem account with a seating balance of N2.4billion.
From industry statistics, the Bank is currently posting the No. 1 position in terms of number and deposit portfolio of women-owned bank accounts compared with peer banks.
To support the growth in women-led economic activities, the Bank created an avenue for women to have access to soft loans at a single-digit interest rate to support their aspirations and economic development in different fields of endeavor through partnership with Bank of Industry (BOI) and through this collaboration had secured a N5.0Billion funding support for women SMEs without any form of collagenization required.
Another innovative milestone that FirstBank had demonstrated in support of gender equality and diversity in favour of women is the creation of FirstGem Online Community. This is an online platform that provides information on a wide range of issues affecting women from lifestyle, politics, business ideas, skills acquisition, etc. It also features blogs and posts videos of high-profile women of influence providing mentorship nuggets and providing answers to a variety of life, career and business/social issues as guides for for women. As at date, over 5,000 women have subscribed and like the platform with a lot more women showing interest on the value offerings of the platform.
The growth and success of women-owned businesses is one of the most profound changes taking place in the business world today. Our Bank aligns with this global trend and is demonstrating its support and active participation through innovative empowerment programs it will continue to reel out in support of women development in the medium to long term.
The Bank has initiated Firstgem. A bespoke solution to foster empowerment of women across the socio-economic strata, FirstGem which has recorded significant milestones is a product that is ideal for all women aged 18 years and above, whether working professionals or entrepreneurs and comes in 2 variants, savings and current account