Breaking Boundaries: Gender Equality in the Workplace

Client: UN-Women

Date: October– December 2018 (3 months)

UN Women has been working with Private sector companies in Pakistan since 2015. These companies are encouraged to include/increase the number of women in their workforce at each level. For their 2018 Private Sector initiative, the UN Women, in collaboration with Pakistan Business Council (PBC)
and Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (CERB), committed to hold two practitioners’ workshops with private sector companies, followed by an impactful presentation at a C-Suite conference in Karachi. The event was designed and conducted with the aim of deepening interactions with selected private sector companies, encourage new companies to join these discussions, and encourage companies to sign the Women Empowerment Principles (WEP). The three workshops focused on how to increase gender diversity in the workplace by recruiting and hiring more women, retaining them, and providing them opportunities to advance and grow.


The Practitioners’ Workshops, in Islamabad (October 23, 2018) and Lahore (November 15, 2018),
were one-day events, structured around 5 participatory and engaging sessions around developing a deeper understanding and commitment to WEP, and in discussing how to make workplaces more gender responsive by introducing more innovative hiring and retention practices, ensuring women’s career progression, facilitating women’s re-entry after career breaks, and bridging the gender pay gap.


The workshop was designed to allow the participating companies an opportunity to engage with each other,
and share experiences of how their organizations had engendered their policies and practices to improve
women’s access to formal employment opportunities. Participants were given the opportunity to put their
ideas onto an Action Plan that they could take back to their organizations, and which could later on be followed up by UN Women and CERB.


40 senior and middle-line managers, from 36 organizations, participated in the two Practitioners Workshops.