Women constitute only 25% of the formal labor force in Pakistan. In the IT sector, this number is even lower – with 14% of them as part of the IT sector’s workforce and 13% in management positions.
The situation should raise reasonable concern, and it has.
CIRCLE is a social enterprise for women empowerment which focuses on growing women leaders, startups and promoting women in tech.
It has launched a project in Karachi’s Usman Institute of Technology with partnership of Engro Vopak Terminal Limited to provide training to the under-served community especially women.
The idea is to utilize the potential of women to contribute to their families and economy.
Sadaffe Abid has strong belief in the services of a female workforce. She previously headed Kashf Foundation, a microfinance organization which empowered women and gave them financial support, helping them make a huge difference in their communities. She is currently Founder of CIRCLE, and is aiming to do the same for Pakistan’s IT sector.
CIRCLE’s program is innovative. Combined with programming and web development, the 8 month program intends to impart a sense of confidence — and to enable women to find pride in their work.
In order to combat street harassment, their program also includes courses on self defense. It further teaches life skills for professional use: communication, collaboration, discipline, teamwork and financial literacy.
Mentor meet ups will be conducted monthly and tech companies and individuals are invited to join for it.
Their classes consist of four-hour sessions that will be held thrice a week beginning February.
The program is affordable for almost anyone at Rs. 500 a month, and scholarships are available for those who can’t pay.
CIRCLE, with the collaboration of Engro Vopak, intends to support graduates with internships in the tech sector and certificates to ensure the very best jobs as well as freelancing options. It is focused on a clear vision: to create role models for women and grow women leaders.