Pakistan is home to many talented and accomplished females who have made significant contributions in the fields of business, science and technology. These women have not only broken barriers but have also defied cultural norms to excel in their chosen fields. Highlighting such high achieving women is of paramount importance as it helps to break down gender stereotypes and promotes gender equality. When we celebrate the accomplishments of women in various fields, we inspire future generations of girls and women to pursue their dreams and believe in their potential.
Dr Nergis Mavalvala
She is one of the most prominent female scientists of Pakistani origin. She is a physicist who is currently a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is known for her work in gravitational-wave detection. Dr Mavalvala was a part of the team that made the groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves in 2015, which earned her international recognition.
Dr Samina Raja
Dr Raja is another leading female scientist from Pakistan. She is a plant scientist and the director of the Center for Urban Studies at the University of Buffalo. Dr Raja’s work focuses on sustainable food systems and urban agriculture. She has been recognized for her contribution to the field of plant science and was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award by the Association of American Geographers.
Dr Ameena Sayyid
Dr Ameena Sayyid is a leading figure in the publishing industry in Pakistan. She is the former Managing Director of Oxford University Press, Pakistan and has been instrumental in promoting education and literacy in the country. Dr Sayyid is a champion of women’s rights and has been recognized for her contribution to the publishing industry with several awards, including the Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan.
Arfa Karim Randhawa
She was a Pakistani student and computer prodigy who became a national icon and a source of inspiration for millions of young people in Pakistan and around the world. Arfa was a remarkable student who had a natural talent for technology and computer programming. She was only 9 years old when she became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in the world in 2004. This achievement earned her global recognition, and she was invited to meet with Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. Despite her young age, Arfa had a strong desire to make a positive impact on society. She believed that technology could be used to solve many of the world's problems and she worked on various projects to help the people in need. For example, she developed a software application to help diagnose Dengue fever, a common disease in Pakistan. Tragically, Arfa passed away at the young age of 16. However, her legacy lives on, and she remains an inspiration for young people in Pakistan and around the world.
One of the most prominent businesswomen in Pakistan is Sadia Khan. She is the founder and CEO of Selar Enterprises, a leading company that deals with logistics. Sadia is a visionary leader who has been instrumental in the growth and success of her company.
Another leading businesswoman in Pakistan is Maheen Rahman. She is the CEO of InfraZamin Pakistan. Maheen has been in the finance industry for over 20 years and has extensive experience in investment banking, research and asset management. She is a strong advocate for women’s empowerment and has been recognized for her leadership skills by various organizations.
She is another leading businesswoman in Pakistan. She is the Global EVP–Beverages at Unilever having previously served as the CEO of Unilever Pakistan and later Unilever Srilanka. Shazia has been with Unilever for over 20 years and has held various leadership positions. She has been recognized for her contribution to the corporate sector and serves as a Director of the Pakistan Business Council, a Member at the Board of Governors of the National Management Foundation, and a trustee at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Foundation Pakistan.
Dr Sarah Qureshi
Dr Sarah Qureshi is the CEO and founding director of Aero Engine Craft (Pvt) Ltd and a proud member of Pakistan Aerospace Council. She is also a visiting fellow at the School of Aerospace at Cranfield University where she provides technical feedback on research on environmentally safe aircraft engines. Dr Sarah has a PhD degree in Aerospace Engineering from Cranfield University, UK. Her area of specialization is Aerospace Propulsion, whereby she researched on the design of a contrail-free aero-engine that has been derived from a novel patented technology. Aero Engine Craft (Pvt) Ltd, is Pakistan’s first commercial jet engine research and development company to convert this patented technology into a full scale application ready to be used by modern civil transport aircraft.
Maria Umer is the founder and president of Women’s Digital League (WDL) – a social enterprise founded in 2009 with the aim to provide digital literacy training and work to Pakistani women. She has been working in the online digital outsourcing sphere for more than nine years. Stemming from her passion for economic empowerment of women, Maria is also serving as the Project Manager for WomenX, a World Bank supported training program for women in business.
Roshaneh Zafar is the founder and Managing Director of Kashf Foundation – the first specialized microfinance organization of Pakistan. As of today, Kashf Foundation supports over 500,000 women and their families in Pakistan. It recently launched a vocational training program for the three main trades that low income women are mostly involved in, i.e. tailoring, embellishment and beauty salons.
Today, Kashf Foundation is the third largest microfinance organization in Pakistan with $22 million worth of loans granted. Zafar has been given numerous awards for her services in development sector including Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, one of Pakistan’s highest civilian awards in 2007.
Above mentioned Pakistani females are examples of women who have made significant contributions to their respective fields and have become role models for young women in Pakistan and around the world. These Pakistani women have made remarkable strides in the fields of science, technology, and business. They have shown that they can compete with men in the corporate world and have played a significant role in the country’s economic growth. Despite facing innumerable social and cultural challenges, these women have shown resilience and determination to break down barriers and shatter the gender stereotypes. Their contributions have not only paved the way for other women to follow in their footsteps but have also brought pride and recognition to their country. It is crucial that we continue to recognize and support the achievements of these high-achieving women, as they serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the generations to come. With their talent and hard work, these women have demonstrated that anything is possible, and we should all strive to emulate their success in our own lives. HH
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