Highlights from Pakistan: ElevatePak Campaign

The ElevatePak Campaign, launched in Karachi on International Women’s Day, is an initiative aimed at building an inclusive economy by fostering the voice of women in high level panels and key forums.  In support of Elevate, leaders from the corporate, governmental and social sectors have pledged to include women in panel discussions of three or more–resulting in more inclusive, diverse and enriching engagement and a broader range of solutions for Pakistan’s emerging economy.

The ElevatePak campaign is the brainchild of Sadaffe Abid, the co-founder of CIRCLE and former CEO of Kashf Foundation.  Ms. Abid was inspired to launch Elevate when she realized that, in Pakistan, men disproportionately dominated public speaking forums and conferences. According to CIRCLE’s internal research, women comprised only 15% of the speakers at major conferences held this year.

CIRCLE believes that investment in women is a critically needed component of Pakistan’s economic future.  The organization aims to develop, support and build the entrepreneurial and leadership capacities of Pakistani women and youth.  Fostering women’s talents and potential through inclusion in high-impact panels is an effective means to promote this goal.  An increased female presence on panels creates a visible cohort of role models for other women and brings a wider range of perspectives to the table to benefit the economy and society.

Elevate is a home-grown movement inspired by the UN Sustainable Development Goal Five on Gender Parity and the UN Women’s Planet 50-50 Step it Up. The founding members include CEOs from seven leading organizations including Telenor, Mitsubishi, Coca Cola, Bayer, Aman Foundation, Gul Ahmed Ideas and Abacus Consulting and over 200 leading individuals.

Elevate encourages everyone invited to speak on a panel to do their part by asking who else is participating and suggesting women speakers. Join this growing movement, sign the pledge and share your stories with us.  The ElevatePak Campaign can reached by email at info@circlewomen.org  or through Twitter @circle2020.