In Islamabad on the 14th of March, Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Limited (SCBPL) and the British Deputy High Commission (BDHC) recently organized an event to commemorate International Women’s Day with clients, partners, and employees. The event included a panel discussion on “DIGITALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, led by Khadija Hashimi, Ziana Sakhia, Sarah Khurram, and Azima Dhanjee, with Nida Athar as the moderator. The discussion focused on how technology can be used to bring women and marginalized groups closer to creative solutions, and innovation, and promote gender equality.

In his speech at the event, Rehan Shaikh, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, expressed his delight at partnering with the British Deputy High Commission to address social and economic challenges faced by women. He said, “We are delighted to partner with British Deputy High Commission once again as the BDHC supports the Bank’s efforts to address the social and economic challenges being confronted by Women.”

He further added, “Attaining digital knowledge is fundamental to empowering women in today’s age. It supports them shape their own future using technology and enables them to address life’s challenges themselves which in turn has an incredible intergenerational multiplier effect on communities and societies. We also applaud the State Bank for adopting a gender-responsive approach to financial inclusion and technology. At Standard Chartered, almost half of our global workforce is women with strong representation in our management team. A similar focus in Pakistan has fortunately led to improvement in our gender diversity from 21% to approximately 30% in 5 years and we have bigger plans going forward because financial inclusion for the Bank is not just about providing access to financial services, but also about ensuring that women have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to effectively use these services to improve their lives and businesses.”

Martin Dawson, Deputy Head of Mission, BDHC, emphasized the importance of unleashing the full potential of women and girls for achieving development. He said, “You cannot understand development if you don’t see it through the eyes of girls and women, and you cannot achieve development unless you unleash their full potential. Women and girls should have control over their choices and their future. Put simply, women and girls should face no constraints on realizing their full potential. Harnessing the opportunity that digital inclusion provides will be transformative

Standard Chartered Bank, the largest international bank in Pakistan, has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability and community investment. The bank’s sustainability strategy aims to strengthen relationships between its business, community, government, and clients. The bank is also working continuously to improve gender balance, develop senior leaders, and create an inclusive environment that equally supports different genders, abilities, backgrounds, races, and ethnicities.