Karachi: The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), consisting of more than 200 of the largest foreign investors operating in Pakistan, has strived to promote females at leadership positions through its flagship Women Empowerment Awards, marking this the 5th successive year the Awards were held. Dr. Ishrat Hussain, former Governor State Bank of Pakistan, was the Chief Guest of the Ceremony.
President OICCI, Ghias Khan, remarked “There is a high need for gender inclusive measures to ensure expedited socio-economic growth. Female labor participation in Pakistan, at 21%, remains the lowest amongst regional peers.” continued Ghias Khan, “Bridging the female employment gap will increase employment by up to 19 million and boost Pakistan’s GDP by up to 23% according to World Bank estimates.”
Three companies emerged victorious across all the categories and won the top three positions: Procter & Gamble Pakistan won the top position and was declared Champions of “OICCI Women Empowerment Awards 2022” whereas, Nestle Pakistan and Unilever Pakistan were declared the first and second runners-up respectively. An independent jury vetted the performance of the companies from different aspects and awarded the Overall Best Performer and awards for all other categories.
Expanding the scope of the awards beyond OICCI members, Ms. Sima Kamil was declared the first winner of Iconic Corporate Women Leaders Award, based on nominations received from OICCI members. This was an award introduced from this year, to recognize corporate female leaders who can serve as an inspiration to the younger female generation for the bars they have set in the corporate world.
Special category awards were given in seven categories. Standard Chartered Pakistan won the Leadership & Strategy award, Pakistan Tobacco Company won the award for an Organization’s Vision and Mission, Telenor Pakistan won the Conducive Workplace Environment for Women award, Engro Corporation won the Women Leaders’ Development award and Pakistan Mobile Communications Limited (Jazz) won the Work-Life Balance and Integration award. Special Recognition Awards were awarded to GSK Pakistan for Notable Growth in Women Empowerment while L’Oreal was declared to be the SME Champion.
On this occasion, OICCI also launched the Diversity and Inclusion Handbook 2022 during the Ceremony. The Handbook covers policies aimed on building Inclusive Workplaces which covers workplace flexibility, hybrid working models, and policies enabling working mothers and parents effectively.
Explaining the purpose of handbook, Secretary General OICCI, M. Abdul Aleem mentioned “It is one of the latest initiatives taken under the banner of OICCI Women with the aim to publish information regarding initiatives and best practices that our member companies have adopted within their workplaces. It is now available for use by interested corporations to begin or further their journey towards equality in their workplaces.”
The ceremony was attended by CEOs, HR Executives, and corporate professionals from various OICCI member companies and distinguished guests.