In 2016, CIRCLE launched its flagship initiative ELEVATE, to promote gender diversity and grow women leaders. According to the Global Gender Gap Index 2018 report, Pakistan is ranked as the second worst country for gender parity.
Through ELEVATE, CIRCLE aims to mobilize CEOs and gain commitment from leading corporations to build a gender diverse workforce, all while addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 5, 8, and 17, internationally recognized markers of progress.
ELEVATE Champions include; Abrar Hassan CEO National Foods, Kimihide Ando Former CEO Mitsubishi Corporation, Sima Kamil CEO UBL, Shazia Syed CEO Uniliver, Shazad Dada CEO Standard Chartered Bank, Fahad Ashraf CEO Reckitt Benckiser amongst others.
Despite decades of progress towards making women equal partners with men in the economy & society, along with the commitment of many organizations, the gap between the two still remains large. Moreover, research shows that women are under-represented at every level of the corporate pipeline.
ELEVATE has the following key goals, to accelerate women’s economic inclusion and empowerment:
1. Increase women’s representation on boards and leadership positions,
2. More women led businesses in supply chains,
3. Gender balanced conferences and panels,
4. Spearhead investment in initiatives for women empowerment.
CUSTOMISED LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS
CIRCLE has also been engaged in running customised leadership training programs for women to build their capacity and equip them with tools needed to succeed. With over 90 women being part of such leadership trainings, these programs aimed at building confidence, allies and a resilient mindset of female employees have been successfully completed at HBL and Interloop this year. Moreover, CIRCLE is also closely working with companies like K-Electric to assist them in devising policies that improve the workplace environment for women.
HABIB BANK LIMITED (HBL)
The session also consisted of a mentoring session with Naz Khan from MD X- Petroleum.
It also included a session with the successful entrepreneur Myra Qureshi, Founder Conatural Beauty.
ELEVATE CLOSING CEREMONY
In June 2019, CIRCLE Women hosted the Closing Ceremony of its third cohort of ELEVATE Growing Women Leaders Program, to celebrate and champion 22 future female leaders from 6 leading companies:
English Biscuit Manufacturers
Ideas by GulAhmed
Telenor Microfinance Bank
Current #ElevatePak Supporters
Make A Difference
‘I pledge that I will only participate in balanced panels with at least one woman speaker in a panel of three or more.’
Our Founding Members
The founding CEOs are men committed to advancing women in work force and leadership, while the overall campaign is supported by both men and women.
"Acumen has released a report that clearly shows enterprises with more gender balance perform better across indicators. I pledge that I will include women on all panels that Acumen organizes, and urge inclusion of women on all panels on which I participate. Elevate is an initiative that will quickly start producing strong results and a richer experiences for any event."-Naeem Zamindar, CEO Acumen Pakistan
“It is imperative for every business leader to create an enabling culture, in order for more women to gain opportunities for leadership. This equity must begin with the commitment towards diversity and inclusion at all forums for dialogue.” -Shazia Syed, Chairperson & CEO, Unilever Pakistan Limited
Zafar A Khan
"Hard work and talent are normally enough to propel men forward in life. Not so women who have to be smarter, more driven, tenacious and thick-skinned to chart their way. The burden for change must fall equally, if not more, on male shoulders." -Ayesha Aziz, Managing Director Pak Brunei
"We cannot truly rise as a nation without giving our women a voice that is heard and respected. I pledge I shall participate in panels that ensure gender diversity and endeavor to facilitate the Elevate campaign." -FATIMA ASAD, Regional Director Abacus Consulting
Mushtaq K. Chhapra