At the PK site, we celebrated Women’s Day at all 3 locations namely Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. An account of each location is as follows;
As I entered the office on the morning of 8th March 2017, a standee reading “You’ve got everything to take the world in your stride” greeted me. Striding across the lobby, I saw the office decorated in purple and white balloons and my colleagues, men and women alike, wearing purple outfits to show solidarity with women across the globe and to support the IWD theme: #BeBoldForChange.
The Women’s Day Program started at 4:00PM. We were all seated in the training room alongside our female colleagues from sister entities. High-spirited women from Afiniti, IBEX, TRG and VW got together and the event formally commenced with the Country Manager IBEX Global & TRG Nadeem Elahi’s address. He thanked all the female employees, and applauded women for their hard work and devotion. He did not hesitate to share his goal of having 50% female representation in the company. The address was followed by Maheen Fatima VP HR IBEX PK, speaking about the efforts HR is making in empowering women in the company. She also mentioned the launch of a “Women in Tech” network whereby we could stay in touch with our past and current female employees. Maheen also talked about some associations that HR is actively working on, such as the collaboration with Pakistan US Women’s Council and CIRCLE.
Sadaffe Abid, the former CEO and COO of Kashf Foundation, one of Forbes Top 50 microfinance institutions which she helped grow from a pilot in two rooms to serve 300,000 women clients disbursing $200 million in microloans in Pakistan was invited as one of the motivational guest speakers. Sadaffe brings on the ground experience of leading teams through uncertainty and complex challenges of today’s world. She has worked on leadership development programs in UAE and Pakistan with a particular focus on advancing women in leadership. She talked about the importance of women as resources that could contribute to the economy and society as a whole. Sadaffe’s interactive session lead to a valuable discussion amongst participants and helped everyone share their ideas.
The floor was then opened to the second guest speaker, Zakia Tahir. Zakia Tahir works with IBM Pakistan as senior managing consultant and has over 13 years of experience in managing teams and implementing global business resource planning (ERP) projects in various economic sectors including Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Healthcare, Banking, Insurance, Manufacturing, Education, and Airline. Zakia has substantial experience of SAP Global projects implementation in Asian, American, and European countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, UAE, Algeria, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Romania, UK, Norway, and the USA.
She discussed her experience as a woman in tech industry and shared her tips to progress and succeed.
Two internal speakers, Fizza Khorasany from IBEX and Ayesha Ahsan from Afiniti also talked about their experiences working for the companies and how it has led them to build friendships at workplace. The women were then requested to sign pledge cards and make their pledges for year 2017 as to how they will #BeBoldForChange in their professional as well as personal lives.
The event ended with distribution of gifts and giveaways, and a cake cutting ceremony. We received a wonderful response following the event and the female employees felt more empowered and connected to the company.
The Lahore office also celebrated International Women’s Day in the same pattern to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of the fast growing female workforce all over the world.
Ayesha Lari, our external guest speaker, energized the female employees by sharing her experience about thriving in the industry from past 15 years, both professionally and personally. Ayesha Lari is currently working at Metro Cash & Cary as Division Manager-Customer Satisfaction. She has diverse experience in all areas of human resources with a solid acumen and interest towards organizational development and HR operations. Ayesha brings in her a blend of empathy and business perseverance which allows her to grow steadily with a satisfied workforce.
Maria Samuel from IBEX and Syeda Laila from TRG, our internal speakers, told everyone about how they balance their professional and personal lives.
Maheen Fatima, our VP HR also joined the Lahore event via video conference and spoke about the company’s plans in making the organization inclusive and providing equal opportunities to its female employees.
The event also served as a platform for female employees to share their experiences in taking on unconventional roles, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them.
The Islamabad office also celebrated International Women’s Day.
The preparations were started a day earlier. The entire office premise was decorated with Purple and White balloons similar to the standard theme for the International Women’s Day. Several standees were placed on floor intimating and giving messages about the women’s day. Other than the decor, women (agents, managers, supervisors) were informed to join the celebrations of Women’s day and about the purple and white dress-code theme, through official emails.
At the Event, the ceremony started at 2:00 pm with the recitation of Holy Quran. Javairia Masood, HR Generalist hosted the event. The presentation about the women’s day was presented to motivate women and to make them realize their worth. Inspiring videos were played and we paid a tribute to Maryam Mukhtar as a national hero.
After the presentation, Assistant Manager Operations Tehreena Arif shared her success story with the audience. Other than her motivational speech, few other supervisors and trainers also shared their success stories. The most highlighting feature of the day was presence and motivational speech of Abiha Haider, Pakistan’s youngest International team football player. The women at the event took pledges on empowerment and #beboldforchange with the guest speaker. As a token of appreciation, Muhammad Tayyab Ahsan Manager HR, Imran Ata Manager Operations and Faisal Siddique Senior Manager Operations presented her an award and the event ended with the cake cutting ceremony followed by the videos made by the employees. The celebrations continued throughout the day by the HR team by distributing chocolates and women’s day greeting cards to every woman on the floor.