Karachi: ‘The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) and its member companies are role models for empowering women at the workplace and the corporate sector across Pakistan should follow the ‘OICCI Women’ initiative to foster economic growth of the country’, Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail, remarked while commending the efforts of foreign investors at the OICCI Women Empowerment Awards 2019 organized here in a local hotel.
The Governor Sindh who was the chief guest at the event further observed that “Women constitute a large ratio of the population in Pakistan. In the past few years, women have been getting higher education and subsequently employment in the business sector. Similarly, women are also the main consumers in a number of niche businesses. It is imperative to give women equal employment opportunity and congenial working environment for the economy to grow.”
He added that OICCI Women is a great platform to join, create a movement for women empowerment and acknowledge the efforts of prominent performers at the awards ceremony like OICCI has been doing for past couple of years.
The ceremony was attended by a large number of CEOs, HR Executives and corporate professionals from different OICCI member companies, as well as diplomats and other distinguished guests.
President OICCI, Shazia Syed, informed that OICCI has been advocating for women empowerment for past 2 years and it is the second edition of the awards this year. It is time to acknowledge the efforts of OICCI members and give awards to the outstanding performers.
She said, “In a global world, empowerment of women and gender equality are essential tools to achieve sustainable development. Therefore, it is important to bring women into the mainstream so that they participate fully in all sectors, to build strong economies and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.”
She shared the statistics that OICCI member companies the percentage of women employees is a little over 13% which she opined ‘is below par’. Similarly, there are about 11.7% of women in top leadership; 11.9% in middle management; 12.2% in junior management and 12.1% in non-management cadre amongst OICCI member companies. “These numbers need to improve further by the collective efforts of all members as there is a long way to go,” Shazia Syed added.
The awards were judged by an independent jury who vetted the performance of the companies from different angles and awarded the best performers overall and in seven separate categories. Three companies emerged victorious across all the categories and won top three positions for the main “OICCI Women Empowerment Award 2019.” P&G and Telenor were declared the first and second runner-up while Unilever won the top position and became ‘Champion of 2019.’
Special Recognition Awards were given in seven categories. Reckitt Benckiser won in the ‘Leadership & Strategy’ category; Sanofi Aventis in ‘Gender Balance Workforce’; Nestle in ‘Work Life Integration’; GlaxoSmithKline in ‘Women Leaders Development’; Philp Morris in “Growth in Number of Women in Top Leadership”; Total Parco in “Notable Growth in Women Empowerment” and Pak Brunei Investment bagged the ‘Top Performer amongst small-sized companies’ Award.
The representatives of the winning companies shared their best practices with the audience and pledged to broaden their horizon in the area of women empowerment as there is still a long way to go in Pakistan.
The OICCI Managing Committee congratulated the winners and hoped to see OICCI Women initiative become an inspiration for all organizations across the country as well as in other walks of life.