Glass ceiling in the Nigerian Banking sector: evidence from senior male and female employees

Dennis Pepple, Raphael Oseghale, Elly Nmecha, Joyce Nwagu

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The banking and finance sector is a major employer in many countries, especially in emerging economies.Decisions made in the sector have significant implication on the economy. There is evidence that decisionmaking has significant implications for organisations (and, by extension, the economy) when their management teams are diverse in terms of gender. Yet only a few women are promoted to executive and managerialroles. This research qualitatively explores how senior male and female employees experience the glass ceilingin the Nigerian banking sector. We conducted 40 interviews, comprising 20 senior male executives and 20senior female executives from 4 banks in Nigeria. Our study reveals that the glass ceiling is characterised by amale-dominated meritocratic organisational culture that is driven by the goal of profit maximisation, consistent with the meritocratic perspective of role congruity theory. We contribute to the extant literature on thistopic by examining how women’s strategies for navigating this landscape (namely, the self-directed actionswomen take in order to progress in their careers) diminish men’s view of the glass ceiling, suggesting a paradox of meritocracy. This study contributes significantly to the debates on the future of women’s progression inthe banking sector in an emerging economy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-117
Number of pages17
JournalContemporary Economics
Early online date31 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Mar 2024


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