WOW360 received the opportunity to talk to Faiza Kapadia Raffay, Head of Legal & Company Secretary about women in leadership roles.
In 1991, The Hub Power Company Limited (HUBCO) was established as the first Independent Power Producer in Pakistan and continues to remain the largest energy producer of its kind in the nation.
Prior to joining HUBCO, Faiza was associated with Philip Morris(Pakistan) Limited as Legal Counsel. Faiza has over 25 years of experience in corporate and legal affairs. She graduated with a distinction in L.L.B. from S.M. Law College.
During the conversation, we asked Faiza about the challenges women face when it comes to procuring a role in leadership. To this, Faiza replied by saying that in society, asides from asking a woman about a qualification, she is often asked if she is married, or has children.
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As unfortunate as it is, these are the factors an employer also takes into consideration despite the fact that the woman may be highly capable of carrying out that role. This creates barriers for women who wish to pursue a career, not just at an organisational level but at a societal level as well.
Faiza believes that until this is changed at the grassroots level, it will not change, however, companies have now started to slowly embrace equity and are providing the necessary tools for women to climb the leadership ladder.
Strategies to Increase Women in Leadership Roles
According to Faiza Kapadia Raffay, there has been a shift post-COVID-19, remote working has become a norm now and a lot of companies are offering employees this option, which has able to give them time to spend with families, and juggle between commitments.
Companies have also worked towards providing a safe and secure environment for their male and female employees, and strict policies and actions have been set in place in case of a mishap. These steps nurse out the stigmas that society usually has about how a woman cannot work in certain environments, especially if she has a lot of male colleagues.
Furthermore, companies have taken a step further in opening in-house daycares for working moms so that they can tend to their children and carry out their roles simultaneously, and not drop out of the workforce.
The advocation of Women in Leadership Roles
Faiza believes that companies can at the base level make sure that there is at least a 30% women workforce to start with. this not only encourages women who have left the force to re-join but also helps fresh grads looking for opportunities to explore these areas. It is all the more important to give women decision-making roles to allow them to bring a balance and a certain aspect of diversity into the company.
Equality for All
Faiza believes it is important for companies to bring about a policy change and give equal salaries to both men and women who are at the same level. Moreover, when hiring, the positions should be considered for both males and females uniformly rather than giving more leverage to a man because he can be expected to stay back and work longer hours, or because he doesn’t have to spend time juggling his in-laws and children.
Tools for Justice
Organizations can invest in tools that will ensure fair promotions and roles when it comes to merit. These tools will not only help women get the leadership roles they deserve but also give women across all levels an equal opportunity to get what they deserve.
Watch the Interview with Faiza Kapadia Raffay Below:
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The articles, podcasts, and impact videos by SEED Ventures (in strategic partnership with WOW360pk) serve as additional learning material for the British Council Women in Leadership (WIL) programme participants. These materials provide a local context that is essential for participants to have a deeper understanding of the content they have learned. They also offer diverse perspectives on how leadership is reflected at the grassroots level, and at higher management and are designed to benefit both facilitators and participants of the WIL Programme.