Women demand financial sector overhaul

New Faces New Voices founder Graça Machel

REGIONAL female executives want an overhaul of the financial services sector to accommodate women in top leadership positions, a recent Women’s Network and Women in Leadership Roundtable meeting has resolved.

The roundtable meeting was organised by Old Mutual Zimbabwe (OMZ) in partnership with New Faces New Voices, a pan-African network of women in finance under the Graça Machel Trust (GMT).

The meeting ran under the theme Women in Leadership in the Financial Sector.

Addressing delegates virtually from South Africa, New Faces New Voices founder Graça Machel said the finance sector played a critical role in any nation.

“I want your voices and your faces to be seen and heard because it will not be an effective restructuring of the financial sector if women are not represented. The primary objective is to change the financial sector and ensure that women are responsible for the financial sector by redesigning the table for both genders,” Machel said.  

“Men must change and recognise women’s brain power, the creativity of women and their leadership, and accept it as the right thing, not a favour. As women leaders, we should also value the position of women at all levels, their value, and contributions to the economy as we work towards social justice.”

Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe deputy governor Charity Dhliwayo said women should be determined, set clear goals and remain focused.

New Faces New Voices Zimbabwe Chapter chairperson Lucy Mandengende said women remained significantly underrepresented in the upper level of the financial sector.

Old Mutual Insurance Company Zimbabwe managing director Gloria Zvaravanhu challenged women “to mentor, take down the elevator and bring back other women to the financial leadership table”.

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