LAHORE – PepsiCo celebrated International Women’s Day at its Head Office with an interactive session, which brought together women of diverse backgrounds to speak about their challenges and accomplishments. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day was “Be bold for change”.
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The session, modelled on the TEDx theme of speaking extemporaneously, included comments from speakers, questions from the audience, and concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr Adel Garas, PepsiCo’s President for the Asia Pacific Region.
“People are PepsiCo’s greatest asset,” said Garas. “We believe in building a workforce that reflects the diverse consumers and communities we serve. Gender equality, diversity and inclusion are core to our company’s values and how we operate as a global corporate citizen in Pakistan and around the world. While we have accomplished much, we recognise that there is more work to do. We recently surveyed female associates to help us identify opportunities to positively impact engagement and commitment of our female associates, and enable them to unleash their full potential.”
Adding to Mr Garas’s comments, PepsiCo Pakistan’s Vice President and General Manager, Mr Furqan Ahmed Syed, thanked PepsiCo’s female associates for their invaluable contributions. “You have been an integral part of our successes over the years and I count on your passion, creativity and leadership to make PepsiCo Pakistan the pride of PepsiCo, and an employer of the first choice for females in our country,” said Mr Syed. “Indeed, diversity and inclusion will be critical to achieving our Performance with Purpose goals for 2025 by helping to create a sustainable advantage for us.”
The International Women’s Day celebration takes place at a time when PepsiCo Pakistan has made significant strides in making the organisation more female-friendly. Steps in this direction include the day-care facilities for young children established at both the Head Office as well as the snacks plant, a mentorship program for young females, creation of the PepsiCo Pakistan Women’s Forum, and the scaling up of the Lighting Up Lives program so that families with women and children can benefit.
Guest speakers at the session consisted of Ms Shamim Akhtar, Pakistan’s first female truck driver; Ms Zenith Irfan, Pakistan’s first female motorcyclist to travel to Khunjerab Pass; Ms Rubina Jamal, a trekker who has taken expeditions to some of the world’s tallest mountains. -PR