Karachi: ‘The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) and its member companies are the torch bearers for empowering women at the workplace. The corporate sector across Pakistan can replicate the ‘OICCI Women’ initiative to foster economic growth of the country’, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Pakistan, Mr. Wouter Plomp, remarked while commending the efforts of foreign investors at the OICCI Women Empowerment Awards 2020 organized online.
The Dutch Ambassador, who was the chief guest at the event, lauded the efforts of the OICCI and observed that OICCI Women is a great platform to create a movement for women empowerment in the country and appreciated the OICCI initiative to publicly acknowledge the efforts of member companies to give women equal employment opportunity and congenial working environment for the economy to grow.
The ceremony was attended on line by a large number of CEOs, and corporate professionals from different OICCI member companies, as well as diplomats and other distinguished guests.
President OICCI, Haroon Rashid, informed that OICCI has been advocating for women empowerment for past 3 years and it is the third edition of the awards this year, to acknowledge the efforts of OICCI members and give awards to the outstanding performers.
He 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 in all sectors, to build strong economies and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.”
He shared that overall percentage of women employees, in OICCI member companies, is around 12% and 11% women are represented on the Board of Directors, which must be increased in coming years. Similarly, there are about 8% of women in top leadership positions; 11% in middle management; 14% in junior management and 8% in non-management cadre. “These numbers need to improve further by the collective efforts of all members as there is a long way to go,” Haroon Rashid 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 eight separate categories. Three companies emerged victorious across all the categories and won top three positions: “Unilever Pakistan and Nestlé Pakistan were declared the first and second runner-up respectively while Procter & Gamble Pakistan won the top position and winner of “OICCI Women Empowerment Award 2020.”
Special Recognition Awards were given in eight categories. Metro Pakistan won in the ‘Leadership & Strategy’ category; Philip Morris Pakistan in ‘Gender Balance Workforce’; Engro Vopak Terminal in ‘Work Life Integration’; Standard Chartered Bank in ‘Women Leaders Development’; Reckitt Benckiser in “Driving Change Beyond Workspace”; Oxford University Press in “Growth in Number of Women in Top Leadership”; HUBCO in “Notable Growth in Women Empowerment” and Shell Pakistan bagged the ‘Top Performer amongst companies of 500 employees’ Award.
At the conclusion, Vice President OICCI, Irfan Siddiqui, congratulated the winners and hoped to see OICCI Women initiative become an inspiration for all organizations across the country and joining hands for a greater cause.