By Duncan Mlanjira
NBS Bank celebrated International Women’s Day on Friday with female customers across the country to join the rest of the world in celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
The first two women customers who entered its banking halls country wide on the international womens day, were given a Wrapper (Chitenje) as a symbol of solidality towards fostering gender balance in line with this year’s international womens day theme, BalanceforBetter
Additionally, NBS Bank gave all women customers priority service.
“This means that, all women will spend less time in our banking halls because there will be a special teller cubicle which will specifically serve women customers,” said Tamanda Longwe, Senior Customer Service Manager at their Ginnery Corner service centre.
“The men shall be assisted by this teller only if there are no women wanting to be served but as soon as a woman walks in, she shall wait until the man being served shall walk away and immediately the woman goes forward to be served.
“We are a Bank that is very passionate about issues of gender balance. As they say, charity begins at home, we have passionately pursed gender balance amongst our staff and also encouraged and finances issues of interpreneurship amongst our women customer’s.
“We have one of the most balanced male to female staff ratio, with female representation in every department and at all levels. Therefore, we don’t want to just practice this internally, but also reach out to the public.
“We started by publishing several inspirational messages from our female employees in management positions. The aim was to encourage every Malawian woman to aim high and to demonstrate that its possible.
International Women’s Day falls on March 8 each year and the theme for this year is Balance for Better.
The website to celebrate this year’s theme says: “Let’s build a gender-balanced world. Everyone has a part to play — all the time, everywhere.
From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance.
“We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a BalanceforBetter.
“The 2019 BalanceforBetter campaign runs all year long. It doesn’t end on International Women’s Day. The campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action, with BalanceforBetter activity reinforced and amplified all year.
“Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage,” said the website.”
And Longwe added that that’s the more reason why they have decided that all women will spend less time in their banking halls because the 2019 BalanceforBetter campaign runs all year long.
Last month, NBS Bank, which made special extension of its banking hall hours during the festive season up to 6pm, announced it has now made it official and permanent in five of its branches; Chichiri, Blantyre, Lilongwe Old Town Mzuzu and Zomba.
This is their drive towards transforming the bank and giving customers more flexibility in banking, saying they have taken into consideration to customers who knock off between 4-5pm and would require the services of their banking hall for deposits and withdrawals.