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Sima Kamil - First Woman to Lead a Major Bank

A woman is named to lead one of the leading banks in Pakistan. Sounds great? Well, absolutely yes because it’s the first instance that a woman will head a major commercial bank in Pakistan, a breakthrough move in a country where the economy is growing but the glass ceiling holds firm.

Sima Kamil, currently a deputy CEO at the country’s third-largest lender United Bank Limited (UBL), will take charge on June 1 after Wajahat Hussain, current CEO of UBL. The decision originated during a board of directors meeting held on March 24 and had sent the official statement to Pakistan Stock Exchange.

“She is, of course, is the first chief of any commercial bank, and it is a huge step forward in the banking and corporate sectors of Pakistan,” Muneer Kamal, the chairman of Pakistan’s Stock Exchange, told AFP. He described Kamil as a “solid professional”.

Sima Kamil was previously been heading the branch banking of Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and had previously been directing the First Microfinance Bank. Kamil has a business degree from Kingston University in the UK and an MBA from the City University, London. She chairs the Board of Governors of the Karachi Grammar School, and is a board member of the Notre Dame Institute of Education, as cited by Dawn.

Women in Pakistan have fought for decades to secure rights for themselves, but the majority is still confronting the acid attacks, honor killings, and harassments. They face gender discrimination in the workplace as well as harassment in public. Few women have stood out and headed high-profile firms in the country.

Muneer Kamal cited Shazia Syed as another female pioneer after she was last year made head in Pakistan of Unilever, a Dutch-British multinational.

“Things are transforming in Pakistan now, the world must know that,” he said.

UBL, headquartered in the financial hub Karachi, operates 1,281 branches all over Pakistan, including 22 Islamic banking branches, employs 15,000 people and has 18 branches in 15 other countries, including the US, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

 

 

Nazish Islam - a media graduate with an undying love for chai, books, traveling, series shows, sports, hijab, and of course writing.

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Sima Kamil - First Woman to Lead a Major Bank

A woman is named to lead one of the leading banks in Pakistan. Sounds great? Well, absolutely yes because it’s the first instance that a woman will head a major commercial bank in Pakistan, a br...