KARACHI: The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has launched the ‘Heroes Leadership Lounge’ as part of its celebrations for International Women’s Day. The initiative was announced at a ceremony organised at a local hotel today.
The ‘Heroes Leadership Lounge’ is a mentoring platform that will provide online resources and active counselling for women as a means of empowering them. The Lounge will enable women to engage directly with business leaders in Pakistan as well as take ownership of their personal capacity building. The platform will also actively work on research and advocacy for the government and the business sector to advance the business case for gender inclusiveness and diversity in the workplace.
The ‘Heroes’ platform has been developed by Unilever Pakistan as part of OICCI’s effort for a national dialogue on providing equal opportunity for women in the workplace. The ‘Heroes Leadership Lounge’ is a continuation of the commitment made by OICCI in November 2017 to help its members focus on establishing a conducive environment for gender equality and empowerment so as to develop women for high-level corporate leadership.
OICCIM General Secretary M Abdul Aleem highlighted, “In 2017, the OICCI and its members had made the commitment to empower women in Pakistan’s corporate sector, as we see ourselves as agents of change. The Heroes Leadership Lounge is the enabler for our ambition to build a more gender-balanced working environment that makes women equal contributors in Pakistan’s socio-economic growth.”
OICCI President Bruno Olierhoek added, “It is great to see new initiatives being developed and added to our “5 steps best practices towards a women-friendly workplace” roadmap. Women mentoring and counselling will contribute to bringing out the brilliance of women already in our organisations, making them role models and attracting more women to join the workforce.”
OICCI Vice President Shazia Syed added, “The Heroes Leadership Lounge aims to be the collective voice of corporate women in Pakistan. It will provide mentoring and counselling for women to succeed as professionals, and will also provide a roadmap to the government and business sectors of Pakistan to ensure gender equality in the workforce.”
The day also included a workshop conducted by ‘Circle Pakistan’ that gathered insight from industry participants on the measures necessary for ensuring equal representation for women in the workforce. The workshop highlighted best practices within companies in Pakistan that help them retain female talent and emphasised on the importance of promoting this information amongst the public and private sector to enable gender-equality. The workshop was participated by over 200 executives from the OICCI member companies.
OICCI remains committed to increasing advocacy amongst members as well as working with the government of Pakistan to support formulating policies that would benefit gender diversity at workplaces across the country.