Bank of Namibia recently organized an event in celebration of women taking over the reins at four of Namibia’s biggest banks with a combined value of more than N$90 billion.
The event which held at the country’s capital city, Windhoek, had in attendance several dignitaries, including the four women whose achievements have inspired other women to take action and aspire to impact themselves.
The four women shared their stories on their journeys up the corporate ladder. All echoed the importance of having the quality of delivering solid performance – regardless of one’s gender.
Ester Kali, a trailblazer in the field, was appointed chief executive officer in 2014 and as CEO of The Bankers Association Namibia (BAN), in June 2020.
In 2016, Bank Windhoek announced the appointment of Beronice Hans as its managing director.
Last year, while the country battled with Covid-19, Nedbank Namibia appointed Usakos-born and raised Martha Murorua as new managing director, and Standard Bank Namibia late last year placed its vote of confidence in Mercia Geises, who is expected to take over from Vetumbuavi Mungunda in May, as the chief executive officer.
The governor of the Bank of Namibia, Johannes !Gawaxab, commended the women on their achievements.
“We now live in a different world where there is an overwhelming realisation that our daughters are just as capable as our sons,” !Gawaxab said.
The governor said the fact that four out of the top five commercial banks in Namibia now have female managing directors has made Namibia a leader on the continent in this regard.
“I must say this is indeed a success story, a story of excellence in the financial sector, in line with the transformation agenda of the sector which I am proud to tell,” he said.
Last year The Namibian reported that the financial sector is being dominated by women and that the traditionally male-dominated leadership has seen major changes in recent years.
“We all know women had to work twice as hard as men to reach the top. These leaders have not only shattered the glass ceiling, but their achievement is inspirational,” said !Gawaxab.
He lauded the women for going through the ranks of the banking sector, pledging that “here and now these gains will never be reversed, and this sector, and the country, will always embrace inclusivity and diversity in its totality,” he said.
Murorua said her journey has been one of calculated risk, consistency, going the extra mile, putting in the time and rising from every fall.
With that, and the mentorship of both male and female experts before her, she was able to rise.
Geises and Hans used to work together at Standard Bank Namibia before Hans moved to secure the top seat at Bank Windhoek.
“This created a spot for me,” said Geises, and following suit, she will now head Standard Bank Namibia, which she said will also have a largely female-led executive.
Hans said Namibia has made great strides in ensuring women are empowered.
“We as Namibia are an example to the world,” she said.
Hans said the message is clear that no one should be limited by race or gender, and anything is possible with the right amount of dedication, discipline and sacrifice.