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Women Business Network paving way for Gender Inclusion in Pakistani Corporate Sector

WomenWomen Business Network paving way for Gender Inclusion in Pakistani Corporate Sector
By: Asim Nawaz/Editor

ISLAMABAD: In a bid to support women-led organizations to create their innovation ecosystems and take part in economic development, Women Business Network, as part of their women empowerment networking series organized a meetup WOMENBIZ2022 in Islamabad.

The meetup brought together leaders from the Corporate, Government sector, Embassies and Women Chambers across Pakistan, to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Gender Inclusion in Pakistan and move from dialogues and talks to definitive actions and initiatives taken by government, various corporates, and women networks and building the future based on these initiatives to improve the representation and inclusion of women in economic growth of Pakistan. The event was convened by WBN in partnership with the euro, Coca-Cola and BIMA.

Speaking at the event Ms. Sam Dada, Co founder of WBN, said WBN is active in advocating for gender inclusion and mainstreaming the gender in business, facilitating women to network, policy advocacy and bringing together all stakeholders to collectively further the agenda of improving the Pakistan’s image and ranking on the global index for gender parity.”

Ambassador of Sweden to Pakistan Henrik Parson, said the event made it possible for Pakistani Corporate, Women in business and gender champions to connect, to discuss challenges and identify opportunities. “The event has reminded me of the importance of collective power and partnership and really connecting between communities, at the national, regional and global levels and the influence that this can have.” 

Panel discussion session during the event, included a discourse of Corporate leaders and gender champions discussing the role of corporate sector in improving the women representation in workplaces, and realizing women’s leadership for resilience, confirmed the need for women to be at the centre of corporate policy and decision making and for delivering gender-transformative action. The panel was moderated by Sabahat Bokhari, Director D&I in Jazz and the panelists include Dr Sadia Nadeem, Professor, School of Business Management, FAST- NUCEES, Mr. Murtaza Khalil, Country Head, Bima Milvik, Mr. Faisal Hashmi, Director Regularity Affairs & Stakeholders Management, PAKISTAN & Afghanistan,Coca Cola and Ms. Faryal Sadiq, Chief Sustainability Officer, Interloop.

Another dialogue and panel session focused on Creating Opportunities for Women, and was moderated by Ms. Nazia Ramzan, of The Change Factory and athe panelists included were Ms.  Shiza Fatima, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs, Ms. Fareeha Ummar, Head of Partnership & Programs, UN Women Pakistan, Dr. Shagufta Jabeen, CEO, Next-Gen Impact, Mr. Uamir Ahmad, Director, State Bank of Pakistan and Mr. Suhail Shah, COO, Euro Petroleum. The Panelists shared the initiatives taken by their respective organizations to create more opportunities for women in Pakistan empowering not only the women themselves but bringing about the change in the livelihood through these initiatvies. The panelists reaffirmed “When women have equal opportunities to succeed in the business world, they grow our economy and make our societies stronger. We urgently need more women as leaders because their devotion, passion and dedication is an inspiration for our society. Gender equality is essential to thrive, prosper and fully develop our potential. By empowering women and integrating them into the labor force, we will boost our capacities, productivity and opportunities.”

Towards the end success stories from Dunya Foundation and Hifsa Khan Impact Fund for shared followed by the key note speaking from Mr. Robert Folley, Trade and Investment Advisor, US Embassy Islamabad, “The potential Pakistani women have is tremendous” he said while emphasizing the need of such events to bring the stakeholders together for the cause. The Chief Guest of the event was Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue who commended WBN on their efforts for highlighting the challenges and bringing in the actions for future initiatives building on the already existing work from all stakeholders including government. She reiterated the vision of government in supporting the Gender inclusion vision as national agenda and stated “We will continue to work alongside all the stakeholders in corporate, foreign missions, and non- governmental partners to support gender-inclusion for a suture sustainable economic growth of Pakistan.”

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