Parliamentary panel asks finance ministry to make 15% of PSB branches all-women

Sunday, 9 August,New Delhi : A parliamentary panel has recommended making at least 15% Public Sector Banks (PSBs) branches all-women offices to provide safe and convenient work environment to women in the banking sector.

It has also recommended flexible working hours for women employees to help them balance their professional and family responsibilities.

In a report on ‘Working Conditions of Women in Public Sector Banks’, the panel said that PSBs should be instructed by the Finance Ministry to open at least 15% of their branches as all-women units, especially in those parts of the country where discrimination against women has traditionally been on the higher side than the rest of the country.

“It will make womenfolk feel comfortable to access a banking system that is devoid of gender-biases as well as is non-discriminatory towards them,” the Committee on Empowerment of Women said in its report.

The report said the government should also work out the modalities for introducing flexible working hours for women employees in PSBs. “As flexi working hours will allow women employees to strike a balance between her professional and family responsibility, maintain healthy lifestyles and contribute to parenting well, it is recommended for the same and urge upon the government to work out the modalities in this direction,” it said.

The Committee asked the banks to take a lenient view regarding transfer of women employees.

“There arises the need for the banks to take the most lenient view while taking decisions regarding posting of women employees, keeping in view her spouse’s place of posting, her obligation towards offsprings and also the dwelling place of parents in case she is as yet not married,” it said.

The PSBs have a total staff strength of about 8,57,868.

Of this, women employees account for 1,96,374, constituting 24% of the total workforce as of September, 2014. Among them 72,625 are officers, 1,02,354 clerks, and 20,475 women work at the level of sub-staff.