OICCI Women: Empowering for a Brighter Tomorrow

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The Chamber organized a CSR Event on Women Empowerment/Gender Equality under the title “OICCI Women: Empowering for a Brighter Tomorrow”, in collaboration with UN Women Pakistan, on November 21, 2017, at a Hotel in Karachi, where over 220 senior employees OICCI companies and UN Women Pakistan representatives joined hands to create synergy and momentum on gender diversity in the private sector.

The event was the launch of OICCI members’ commitment towards one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “Women Empowerment/Gender Equality” adopted by the OICCI CSR Subcommittee this year and members undertook a pledge that aims to create more inclusive workplaces and empower women in the workforce across Pakistan. This pledge was in collaboration with UN Women and was part of an ambitious ambition to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals towards gender equality and to serve as an inspiration for businesses in Pakistan and beyond. To further this commitment over the next three years, OICCI members will focus on establishing a conducive environment that enhances gender equality and develop women for high level corporate leadership.

The event brought together leading foreign investors and gender specialists to discuss strategies and good practices on women’s empowerment and representation in the corporate sector.

Speaking at the event, Khalid Mansoor, President OICCI highlighted that “OICCI members have a strong commitment towards gender balancing and have pledged to support initiatives towards empowering women in the socio- economic growth of Pakistan”.

The Country Representative of UN Women Pakistan, Jamshed Kazi, mentioned that empowering women within the growing corporate sector is a challenge where the private sector can be agents of change to build a healthy environment where gender equality is considered a reality, encouraging more women to gain confidence in their ability to assume senior management positions including as CEOs and member of the Board of Directors.

Bruno Olierhoek, Chairman, OICCI CSR Subcommittee mentioned that the, “OICCI Women initiative wants to propose a concrete way forward, a “how to” manual, helping organizations to have a women friendly work environment” He was of the opinion that OICCI together with UN Women can start a movement, in Pakistan, by promoting this simple and pragmatic approach and making a real impact.

Shazia Syed, Co-Chair talked about “our responsibility as business leaders to recognize the business case for gender equality and diversity in the workplace”. She said that the launching of the gender initiative was to provide a roadmap built on best practices within Pakistan’s industry to empower women for sustainable success.

During the panelist discussion, the CEOs and senior management of MNCs spoke about best practices of their companies which helps them retain female talent and emphasized on its importance to be promoted in all organizations for gender-equality. These best practices included providing security and support for relocating, work with home-day care, maximizing their potential by making lean-in circles and formulating female orientated mentorship network

The OICCI Managing Committee plans to increase advocacy amongst members as well as voicing the initiative to support formulating policies at government level which would benefit gender diversity at workplaces in the country.

As part of their commitment to Pakistan, the OICCI has dedicated the CSR Report for 2016 – 17 to creating a platform for women empowerment and gender equality. This aims at bringing all OICCI members under one umbrella for a concerted effort towards achieving the vision of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and becoming a source of inspiration for other businesses in Pakistan and beyond.

© 2012 Overseas Investors Chambers of Commerce and Industry
The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry (OICCI) serves as the national point of reference for foreign investors in Pakistan. Established in 1860 as the Karachi Chamber of Commerce, it is the oldest of the existing chambers.