In 21st Century, women have learnt to be at par with men in various sectors of work. Viz. , pilots, engineers, scientists, CEOs and COOs in corporate sector. Banking sector is no exception for women to play a vital role in holding huge responsibilities. Gender difference is longer a taboo whereas a mixed and friendly environment began to sustain in corporate culture. All that matters here, how professionally a woman employee performs in working environment which is both rewarding and prospective for a career.
For the year 2007, ‘Western Financial Review’ awarded “Outstanding Women Banking” viz. , Jackie Johnson, Executive Vice president of Community State Bank in Edgewood, Iowa, Anne Hofstede, Senior Vice President at United Banker’s Bank in Bloomington, Minnesota, Frandsen State Bank in New Ulm, Minnesota, Sharon Berger, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at American Bank Center in Bismarck, N. D, and Cathy Morrissey, Senior Vice President of correspondent banking and area manager for Wells Fargo Bank in Lincoln, Neb.
These women have been chosen for the outstanding contribution that has been made to the respective banks in the capacity of respective designations, which is both quite appealing and inspirational for all aspiring women. Job in a bank is not easy, with the fact that a woman has to equip and participate both at domestic level and at working level which has to be managed efficiently and this has been proved successfully by many women in many corporate areas. The job of managing home and kids as home minister and working in corporate sector is both challenging and the image of women in society is of high esteem in this scenario.
Sarah Strong is another successful example in women category who has joined the managerial level in Security Bank. Sarah has been performing extremely well year after year, which is why Sarah has been promoted three times with high rating which is a commendable performance for a woman. The problems of Sarah began when Sarah was transferred to a host bank in Mexico City where there were only 20 bank employees under the leadership of William Vitam. Sarah has been facing office-politics, for better or worse, confronted with situations which she handled with courage and positive attitude.
Security Bank was supposed to intimate Mr. William Vitam about Sarah Strong, degree of work and a clear letter about Sarah’s role in Mexico city Bank. This was not performed by Security Bank in spite of the fact that Sarah’s contribution to the Security Bank was outstanding. Every bank must hold corporate social responsibility towards its employees when its workforce is on transfer or on deputation to other banks, which is a minimum courtesy to take care of employees. Security Bank has violated human rights especially in ignoring the value of ethics.
It is important to take note here that religion and ethical standards are firm on “Conduct is Right because God commands it right. God commands right conduct because it is right”(Cyndi Banks). Women who are employed in European and American banks continue to face all sort of office-politics. A woman who quit a job in a European Bank states “One or two European banks in particular have an appealing attitude”. Women in European banks are facing more problems than in American Banks. There are no flexible working hours for women.
The internal and external working environment is governed by organization behavior of a bank, whether it is for Security Bank or for host bank. Each bank must follow organization behavior both externally and internally which was not present in either of banks, whereas unwarranted bossism, office-politics, satire was prevailing in bank. This was certainly not expected from banks particularly, when women are making a huge contribution to the success and growth of banking sector. Some of the effective steps that bank should have undertaken is, to at least arrange for an office-politics adviser for the help of Sarah.
Advisers would the situation of Sarah, and advise for a suitable action to continue working in a smooth and better environment. Harassment is basically of two types. The first is being direct and intentional and the second being quid pro quo which means “this for that”. Sarah was facing a sarcastic behavior from William Vitam who was on one side appreciating by saying “ our lady banker” “my cute assistant” and on the other side, created an atmosphere where bank clients refused to seek the help of Sarah for any transaction and in fact bank Sarah began to receive negative marking for no fault.
Sarah was in a fix in an unhealthy work environment, wherein the policies of Vitam were also contradictory in arranging uniforms for all women employees. The code of uniform was inappropriate and was demoralizing the employment of all women employees in bank. With the above scenario, Sarah must on priority basis consult an expert in office-politics and produce a written complaint against William Vitam, submit written complaint to both Security Bank and Mexican city Bank, with a copy to police department, seeking immediate relief from harassment.
This is the first option for Sarah. The second option for Sarah is, if in case, Sarah is not interested in the advice of a consultant, with the fact that Sarah being a capable and an efficient woman, can seek the intervention of top management in Security Bank explaining in detail about the job situation in Mexican city bank, and submit a resignation letter and consider a written proof of service and conduct certificate to find a better placement elsewhere in another organization.
The third option is to release a management article in popular newspaper or a magazine about women employees in banking sectors or contribute an article public forum in which case, a collective decision would solve the problem of Sarah. As per the above discussion, it can be concluded that both Security Bank and Mexican city bank have violated the rules and regulations of employment and the practice of human resource management.
Both the banks do not have sound HR practices and even organizational behavior. One strong evidence for this, could be in the manner Sarah was exploited in bank with which, Sarah was heading towards negative marking in service record. Sarah was entitled to receive an appropriate and considerable greet from Mexican Bank with the kind of services that were rendered to Security Bank in a span of three years. Conclusion
Banking sector offers good prospects for women and banking jobs are ideal for women. Every bank must recognize the services of women employees and must not take an easy-go for the services rendered by women employees. Even the problems faced by women employees must be resolved with the practice of human rights and in view corporate social responsibility.
References Book Cyndi Banks, Criminal Justice Ethics: Theory and Practice Accessed December 11, 2007 from http://books. google.com/books? id=kwOHPCNaInoC&pg=PA273&lpg=PA272&ots=L7EbrRCIsh&dq=ethics+for+women+in+banks&ie=ISO-8859-1&output=html&sig=T4fkqmMxxo6Va50kLplGO9CnD5s Influence at Work: The 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking Accessed December 11, 2007 from http://www. americanbanker. com/25mpwib/about. html Sandin, Erik (2007) Northwestern Financial Review, 2007 Outstanding women in Banking Accessed December 11, 2007 from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_qa3799/is_20071115/ai_n21124748