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Before starting any venture, we tend to list down all of our inabilities convincing ourselves on the fact that “we’re just not good enough” As research from Cornell University concluded: women are less self-assured than men – and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence.

In today’s day and age, more women are taking up employment and are striving to achieve an equal world, yet the global total entrepreneurial activity rate for women is 10.2%, about three-quarters of that for men. Many external factors like unequal opportunities, lack of facilities and representation make up a ceiling that blocks women’s growth in climbing the corporate ladder. But more importantly, one of the biggest factors of this glass ceiling is internalized: the self-doubt that is inherent in most women.


To tackle this issue and motivate more women to pick up employment roles in Pakistan and globally, Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Ltd. and INNOVentures Global (Private) Limited partnered to create the Standard Chartered Women in Tech programme. Every year #SCWomenInTech takes place where women-led businesses enabled by technology are provided with training, mentorship and seed grants.

The winners receive a grant which helps elevate their businesses even further, but the role of the winners doesn’t just stop there. For this year’s programme, Standard Chartered has brought forward their previous winners to act as mentors, simply to motivate the next line of women entrepreneurs. The reasoning behind it stems from the belief that “in front of every woman is a successful woman ready to inspire her forward”

They particularly emphasize this insight in their latest Digital Video Commercial featuring 4 of their previous winners and Hajra Yamin, a renowned actress who has been an advocate for #SCWomenInTech since 2019. These success stories are living and breathing examples of women who made it. Not to mention, these stories are highly relatable for women all over the corporate landscape of Pakistan and accentuate the idea, ‘If they could do it, why can’t I?’

Women’s Day Campaign 2021

The campaign falls under the headline of #SheStands to Challenge, which fuses two themes into one. She Stands is the theme under which SCWomenInTech is conducted and the latter directly links to the theme of 2021’s Women’s Day campaign Choose To Challenge.

The focus of this year’s programme is the amalgamation of the present and the future winners and the important role successful women play in motivating the next line of women entrepreneurs forward. However, the problem that was identified in this year’s theme was one of self-doubt and how it directly helps construct the unbreakable glass ceiling, in the eyes of these aspiring entrepreneurs.

With initiatives like SCWomenInTech, there has been a drastic improvement in the efforts to break the glass ceiling, however, there’s still more work to be done. With each passing year, we hope we reach closer to our goal of achieving an equal corporate world.

We got a chance to speak to Khadija Hashimi, Head, Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing, here’s what she had to say about #SCWomenInTech

What are your thought about this? Let us know in the comments below.

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