Press Releases

IFC Helps First Pakistan Company Pursue Global Business Certification for Gender Equality

In Cairo:
Mohamed Essa
Phone: +202 2461 4331

Islamabad, Pakistan, June 11, 2019—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with one of the largest hotel chains in South Asia, Serena Hotels Pakistan, to help it become the first company in Pakistan to obtain the leading global assessment and business certification for gender equality—EDGE (Economic Dividends for Gender Equality).

Currently, in Pakistan, only about one in four women work and just 7 percent of the country’s workforce is female. The certification evaluates companies’ workplace gender equality performance against global and industry benchmarks, helping them become a gender equal environment to work in, invest in, and do business with. EDGE currently works with nearly 200 organizations in 50 countries and 23 industries.

“Our collaboration with IFC on gender-smart initiatives will allow us to help our women Associates, while benefiting from attracting and utilizing their talent in our Company. Most importantly, it will allow us to further improve the workplace where all Associates are viewed as equal, so that we have a more productive, engaged, loyal, and skilled team. Gender equality is a win-win for both our Associates and business,”  said Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels in Pakistan.

Headquartered in Islamabad, Serena Hotels Pakistan, a recipient of “Employer of Choice for Gender Balance-2018” employs 12% women in a workforce of 1,900. Through the EDGE gender assessment process and with support from IFC, the group aims to further enhance gender balance by creating more opportunities for women’s employment, capacity building of high-potential women Associates to leadership training and skill development of women at community level for entrepreneurship.

“There’s no doubt that companies can deliver greater business impact and be more competitive by fostering an equitable and inclusive workplace for women and men,” said Nadeem Siddiqui, IFC’s Senior Country Manager in Pakistan. “We hope more companies in Pakistan will discover the strength of the business case for greater gender equality in the workplace.”  

About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

Stay Connected\ifc_org,