Empowerment, equality, diversity and inclusiveness in today’s world, have become important discussion points concerning women in both the professional and personal domain.

The role and the contribution that women have in all aspects of our society cannot be underestimated nor can it be ignored. Various studies have shown the benefits to individuals, families, businesses, communities and economies when women are able to enter and advance equally in the workforce.

Quantifiable data has shown that organizations, where women are given equal opportunities to learn and grow and be productive employees, have better financial and operating performance, higher market presence and brand image. In Pakistan as well, in line with the global understanding of the role and importance of women, and the shift towards empowerment and diversity, many organizations have now taken a key role embracing this change. One organization at the forefront is Telenor Pakistan. Telenor Pakistan has over the years partnered with various organizations and agencies, in their quest to promote, empower and nurture diversity at workplace.

Recently, Telenor Pakistan joined as a founding member of Male Champions of Change Pakistan – an innovative strategy to advance gender equality and more women into leadership positions by creating the workplace conditions and cultures that enable women to thrive.

“We strongly believe that empowering women and closing gender gap in the workplace are key to achieving sustainable development. Corporations world over are realizing the immense potential of a balanced workforce and the value they bring to the workplace. Increasing female representation, especially in ICT, would provide them, their families, and the society with better economic opportunities while accelerating the growth of the digital economy. Being one of MCC’s founding members in Pakistan, I am confident that through this platform we can bring the much needed change in our country too and give women an opportunity to become as active contributors to the economy as they are to the society.” Said Irfan Wahab Khan, Head of Emerging Asia Cluster and CEO Telenor Pakistan.

The heart of The Male Champions of Change strategy involves men of power and influence forming a high-profile coalition to achieve change on gender equality issues in organizations and communities. Male Champions of Change Pakistan, or MCC Pakistan, is the first global franchise of MCC Australia. Male Champions of Change (MCC) works with leaders to redefine men’s role in taking action on gender inequality.

MCC Pakistan was established by internationally renowned gender equality leader Fiza Farhan. It activates peer groups of influential male leaders, supports them to step up beside women, and drives the adoption of actions across private sector and government to achieve change.

MCC began in 2010 with 8 Australian leaders and has since grown to a coalition that now includes 200+ leaders across Australia and internationally. Cross-sector MCC groups of business, government, academic and military leaders are joined by sector specific groups in areas including architecture, sports, property, STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math’s), consulting services,  fire and emergency, health and global tech. MCC Pakistan is the first venture of the MCC Institute outside of Australia. A Global Tech MCC Group has also recently been established.

Since its launch in Pakistan in August 2018, MCC Pakistan has welcomed 10 MCCs from various sectors and fields. These are CEOs and sector leaders who hold both position of power and influence to bring about change in the society. These include leaders from EY Ford Rhodes, Telenor Pakistan, Serena Hotels, Pepsi Co., Shell Pakistan, Netsol Technologies Inc., Pakistan Micro Finance Investment Company, Ubank, FINCA and Lahore Qalandars

MCC Pakistan aims to expand and work to not only focus on women in the professional front, and the social factors effecting the women in the society of Pakistan. There has been great desire by the organizations to become part of this initiative and play a vital role in not only making MCC Pakistan successful but also getting the maximum benefits for the organization from being part of this project.  For a lot of the organizations, MCC strategy is simply good business that not only aligns to their performance goals, but also helps them in their change management activities.

“It is a pleasure for me to bring to Pakistan, the most unique and impactful Male Champions of Change strategy from Australia that encourages men of power to step up besides women for creating a more gender neutral world and has been endorsed as the most effective strategy for achieving tangible results for gender equality by the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Women Empowerment. I am thrilled by the response of the Pakistani CEO’s who have shown great commitment to leading gender equality within not only their organizations but the entire sectors they represent”, said Fiza Farhan, Global Strategic Development Advisor and Convener of MCC in Pakistan.