The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) today held a high level meeting with leaders of Bahrain's finance and banking industry to discuss plans and support for Bahraini Women's Day 2015, which is set to be held under the theme 'Women in the Financial and Banking Sector' as recently announced by Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of His Majesty the King and President of the SCW.
The meeting, which was held at the CBB, was chaired by HE the Governor of the Central Bank Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj and the Secretary General of the SCW Her Excellency Mrs. Hala Al Ansari. Together they briefed industry representatives on the significance of this year's theme given Bahrain's position as a leading regional financial centre for more than 50 years and the particular importance of the industry to the national economy.
Industry leaders were asked to pledge their support to a year-long campaign of activities that will celebrate the achievements and contributions of women in Finance and Banking in Bahrain in the lead up to Bahraini Women's Day on 1 December 2015. The schedule of programmes will not only highlight the important role that women have played to date in driving growth and industry development. They will also be aimed at strengthening the presence of women across all areas of the Financial and Banking industry, attracting new talent and the creation of even greater opportunities for women to excel, rise to leadership positions and, ultimately, pioneer further industry advancement.
Commenting, HE Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, said, "Over the past five decades, we have seen women play a significant role in the Kingdom's financial services industry and are delighted that the Supreme Council for Women has named 2015 as the year to celebrate their achievements. More than just commemorating the work of women in the industry, however, we urge financial institutions in Bahrain to mark the occasion by re-focusing and re-committing themselves to encouraging the further hiring of women, making greater investments in their training and development, working to overcome all the obstacles that hinder the development of women and ensuring their career progression to the highest levels. While important steps have already been made on each of these fronts, we hope to see even greater advancements take place during this year, which is dedicated to the accomplishments and future prospects for women in the financial and banking sector."
Her Excellency Mrs. Hala Al Ansari, Secretary General of SCW, added, "We extend our gratitude to Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of His Majesty the King and President of SCW, for allocating Bahraini Women's Day this year to the celebration of women in the banking and financial sector. This day each year marks an important opportunity to highlight the work and contributions of women across various sectors of the economy and the banking and finance industry was chosen this year due to its great importance to the economy, given its position as the largest supporting sector, and the extraordinary accomplishments of Bahraini women in banking and finance."
Mrs. Al Ansari continued, "As part of our efforts to commemorate women in the sector, there is the need to develop a set of recommendations on how improvements can be made to the work environment for women and how their successes can be better highlighted in order to guarantee them equal opportunities as well as enhance the ability of the industry to attract new female talent including recent university graduates. We look forward to working closely with the sector and thank them for their ongoing efforts to promote women in finance and banking and for their cooperation and commitment to this year's programme to honor women and enhance their role in the industry. "
The year-long Women's Day calendar of activities focused on 'Women in the Financial and Banking Sector' will soon be announced by the SCW and the CBB with the support of Bahrain's financial services institutions and other related organisations.