Jazz CEO Aamir Hafeez Ibrahim sent a strong and honest message about the poor state of women’s workplace inclusion in Pakistan ahead of Women’s Day.
While acknowledging that Pakistani women even in this day and age face workplace bias that adversely affects their careers and professional ambitions, Ibrahim informed that Jazz was countering it by enabling women through a number of ways.
In a tweet thread on Saturday, Aamir Ibrahim said, “Despite several Pakistani women trailblazers, they typically suffer bias in the workplace and find it harder to be hired, get promotions, and get equal pay. At Jazz we work to end workplace bias by reinforcing #EachForEqual.”
He elaborated that Jazz was pursuing and promoting gender equality not only through enhanced workplace integration of women, but also by harnessing technology to empower them. Ibrahim also rightly pointed to Pakistani women’s poor financial inclusion as a major impediment to their active economic participation.
Even today, only 21% of Pakistani adults have access to formal financial services, a stark majority of them being women. For reasons ranging from distance to a financial institution to tedious paperwork that’s often intimidating for the less literate, it remains a challenge for the unbanked Pakistani millions, especially women, to open a conventional bank account.
Jazz Cash, Aamir Ibrahim said, was changing that. “We integrate more women into Jazz Cash than the average percentage of women banked in the country,” he said. He also told how, by continuously innovating, Jazz Cash was now serving way more than just women’s payments needs. “For every woman with a mobile financial wallet, we are expanding women’s ability to be empowered in health, education and mobility,” he added.
Women have been contributing to global economies for ages and in Pakistan too, their contributions have been invaluable. A key example here is Pakistan’s agriculture sector, the backbone of its economy with a GDP contribution of 24% and 50% labor force share, an impressive 67% of which comprises women. It’s high time that we took solid steps to improve their participation in the business sector too.
Ibrahim stressed that we must recognize that when women are caregiving or managing the household, their economic contribution is also priceless. “Pakistan’s future rests in the human and business case for women’s equality in the workplace,” he remarked.
Aamir Ibrahim’s message has come at a time when Pakistan was recently reported to be having the world’s highest male-female gap on cell-phone ownership. It’s heartening to see companies that are closest to the people taking palpable measures to promote women’s inclusion in the economic mainstream.
But, they can’t truly progress toward an inclusive, digital Pakistan if challenges like the present mobile ownership gap persist.