Gender Diversity: An Analysis of Belize Banks

Philippa S. Duncan


This study aims to increase insights into the underrepresentation of women at the top echelon of banks and reveal new challenges for women to attain bank leadership positions. Content analysis was applied to information collected through semi-structured interviews conducted with primarily male senior leaders from banks in Belize, and the interview data was triangulated with data from relevant documents and Belize banks’ succession plans to demonstrate consistency. Participants unanimously indicated that banking skills are not gender specific, women bankers possess talent and knowledge to satisfy senior appointments, and differences in employee performance occur at the individual-level and not gender-level. Other findings show new challenges for aspiring female bank leaders, namely, competing in a pool expanded to include foreign men and demonstrating business development with male customers can occur professionally outside normal banking hours. The setting reflects Belize’s banking sector. Awareness of non-traditional challenges can assist women with self-preparation and influence greater transparency in banks’ succession plans and selection of leaders. This was the first such study on Belize banks; it raised awareness and could influence more deliberate decision-making on achieving gender equity in the sector’s leadership. The study confirmed traditional elements of the glass ceiling and underscored challenges of overcoming Belize banks’ mores.

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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