The US Consul General, Catherine Rodriguez visited LUMS along with Economic and Political Officer, Kathleen McDonald; Executive Director US-Pakistan Women’s Council, Radhika Prabhu and Economic Specialist, Amna Anis on February 20, 2020. The delegation met with Dr. Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, LUMS; Dr. Kamran Asdar Ali, Interim Provost, LUMS and Dr. Alnoor Bhimani, Honorary Dean, Suleman Dawood School of Business.
Dr. Zehra Waheed, Director, Centre for Business and Society; Dr. Khawaja Zain ul Abdin, Director, Rausing Executive Development Centre; Henna Babar Ali, Advisor Consumer Products Division (CPD), Packages Limited; Aftab Khan, Group Head of Supply Chain, Packages Group, and Suleman Dawood School of Business faculty members, Dr. Muhammad Shakeel Sadiq Jajja and Dr. Hassan Rauf were also present at the meeting.
Dr. Ahmad shared the University’s vision and its new directions highlighting how faculty and students at LUMS work together on research projects to create solutions for problems that affect society. He also elaborated on the work being done at the centres at LUMS to address complex problems with both local and global implications.
Ms. Prabhu then expressed that building on the work being done at the University regarding gender and development, a partnership between LUMS and the US-Pakistan Women’s Council would be ideal. The Council seeks to increase women’s economic participation in Pakistan through entrepreneurship, employment and education and a collaboration with LUMS would help create important spaces for conversations about gender and economic prosperity through university partnerships, meetings and conferences.
This led to a vibrant conversation among the attendees about how women from all tiers of society and different professions as well as industry leaders need to be included in the conversation about gender equity in the workforce. There is a need to holistically understand the challenges women face and what has worked for women who have shattered the glass ceiling.
Ms. Rodriguez elaborated that it is not enough that women receive higher education but that they should be recruited and retained in the workplace and obstacles that prevent that from happening need to be studied and addressed.
The meeting resulted in a discussion on several important strategic initiatives between LUMS and the US-Pakistan Women’s Council that will foster meaningful collaborations for women economic empowerment.