‘Women for Board Allies’ programme organised in Karachi
KARACHI – Corporate boards across the world have traditionally been male dominated. A growing body of international research shows that the presence of women on boards and in business leadership positions can have positive effects on the sustainability of organizations. To celebrate and encourage diversity in the corporate landscape of Pakistan, Diversity Hub-HR Metrics along with Hashoo Foundation and other corporate partners organised “Women for Board Allies” programme at a local hotel the other day where a strategic dialogue on “Building Inclusive Boards for Sustainable Outcomes” was facilitated.
This discussion was aimed to accelerate identification of top governance strategies to create a positive, sustainable environment for women leaders. Smart economics and financial sustainability demands for an increased participation and inclusion of women leaders across the corporate sectors. The women leaders on the panel of speakers emphasized that diversity and inclusion at leadership positions can create a “ripple effect” across society, communities and transform the eco- system.
Ms Ayesha Khan, Country Director Hashoo Foundation and Chief Sustainability Officer Hashoo Group, represented the conglomerate as a key panelist speaker. She stressed the need for encouraging women to aspire for board seats by creating an enabling environment across organizations to give them a sense of what it takes to get there. She said: “The three out of the nine governance strategies that can help bring about real change in organizations are participation, transparency and observing rule of law. All of us must make our participation meaningful and serve as agents of change in the corporate sector to empower future female leaders.
This cannot be done just by raising awareness regarding the socio-economic benefits of gender diversity at board level; it requires embedding a long-term sustainability framework that provides for coaching, mentoring and motivating potential Women Leaders. As a Women for Board ally I strongly believe that we must intensify advocacy in action to promote future leaders, connect and refer them for board of directors and key management roles.”