KARACHI: Women professionals and entrepreneurs gathered on Saturday for the Ladies Fund Luncheon 2016 at the British deputy high commission office.
The luncheon is a way to bring together women from various fields and give them a chance to network among themselves. It takes after the Harvard-style speed networking and gives a chance to budding entrepreneurs to network with professionals from fields as varied as entertainment, legal sector, pharmaceuticals, retail, textile, non-governmental organisations among others.
An initiative of Tara Uzra Dawood, president of the Dawood Global Foundation, this was the fifth annual luncheon held within as many years, the proceeds of which would go to the DGF’s educational programme in Nigeria.
The event began with introductions of the group of women to be awarded at the ceremony and they were asked to share their inspiring stories with the audience.
Spenta D. Kandawalla, director and co-owner of the capital chemical industries, the leading manufacturer of silicates in the country, spoke about her experience of going through various stages of learning her job be it working in manufacturing, finance, marketing or human resources.
These different experiences in her career spanning over four decades gave her a variety of platforms to deal with. “Corporate Pakistan needs a lot of catching up to do. The glass ceiling is there but we need determined women with initiative taking skills to go past that. I was the only woman on corporate boards. Being the first one to do anything is always difficult as all the eyes are on you. But the rewards make up for it,” she said while speaking at the event. “We can’t run away from the fact that it is indeed a man’s world. What worked for me was the continuous support of my father and later, husband.”
The next phase of the event was to present awards to women who have proved themselves in their respective fields. Dr Fauzia Khan, for her work in Nigeria, and fashion designer Zeba Husain for her retail exchange with India recently were the first ones to be awarded.
Others included jeweller Shafaq Habib, actor Ayesha Khan, fashion designer Sania Maskatiya, philanthropist Masarrat Misbah and actor Zeba Bakhtiar.
Morning show host Nida Yasir came in late and while speaking to Dawn said that the parents needed to instil it in their girls to venture out on their own professionally.
“Girls are brought up well in our society for the purpose of getting them married. This should not be the only thing they should be encouraged to do. There’s so much to explore for them to be only thinking about getting married,” she said.