Karachi, Pakistan, March 14, 2018—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and the Pakistan Business Council (PCB),
the country’s leading business advocacy group, are hosting a conference
today to address the challenges that hinder women’s employment opportunities
in Pakistan and to support women’s participation in the country’s economy.
Although women represent 49 percent of
Pakistan’s adult population, they hold only 1 in 14 jobs in the country’s
businesses, amounting to just 7 percent of the labor force - the third
lowest rate in the world. In addition, only 24 percent of working age women
in Pakistan work, compared to 83 percent of working age men, and just 1
in 17 companies in Pakistan is led by a woman.
“To be responsible in
business, one needs to build sustainable value over the short, medium and
long terms,” said Fuad Hashimi, Executive
Director of The Pakistan Business Council’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible
equality is crucial to creating sustainable value and should be one of
the top five strategic goals of a business.”
The conference will highlight how Pakistani
businesses can tap into the large—and underutilized—pool of female talent
by featuring some of the most innovative initiatives from PBC member companies
and banks. The aim is to help reduce the current gender gap in the workforce
and strengthen firms’ pipeline of future leaders by including female talent.
“Investing in women’s
employment can help companies tap into larger talent pools, win the war
for talent, and ultimately become more competitive,” said Shabana Khawar,
Principal Country Officer in Pakistan.
The conference is part of a one-year
partnership between the IFC and the PBC launched in October 2017, which
aims to promote female participation in Pakistan’s labor force and support
the country's economy. The partnership is part of a larger IFC effort to
drive economic development and promote gender inclusion in Pakistan.
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 FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term
financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private
sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information,