‘We strive to create a workplace culture where every individual feels valued.’

Sharmeen Niaz, Head of MGN Pakistan, talks to SouthAsia in this exclusive interview.

September 2023

In recent years, Pakistan’s HR landscape has witnessed a remarkable transformation, with a greater focus on employee well-being, diversity, and inclusion. SouthAsia Magazine sat down with Sharmeen Niaz, Head of MGN Pakistan, to delve into this evolving landscape and understand the role of organizations in driving positive change. Sharmeen shared MGN’s initiatives and strategies to shape the future of HR in Pakistan and create an inclusive work environment that fosters growth, innovation, and empowerment.

How has the remote working model influenced the work culture and productivity at MGN Pakistan?

The remote working model has had a transformative impact on the work culture and productivity at MGN Pakistan. It has provided our employees with flexibility, resulting in increased job satisfaction and work-life balance. Our teams have adapted well to remote collaboration tools, ensuring seamless communication and efficient workflow. This model has also allowed us to tap into talent from different regions, enabling diversity and enriching our collective knowledge base.

What initiatives has MGN Pakistan taken to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace, particularly for women in banking?

At MGN Pakistan, we are deeply committed to fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace, especially in the field of banking. We have implemented a range of initiatives to empower women and create an inclusive environment. With our increased focus on D&I, we have aimed to provide equal opportunities, mentorship, and professional development for women in the banking sector. We actively promote gender diversity in recruitment, ensuring a fair and unbiased selection process. Additionally, we provide leadership development programs, networking opportunities, and forums for knowledge sharing to support the career growth of women professionals in banking. By breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes, we strive to create a workplace culture where every individual feels valued and can thrive.

Our commitment extends to working mothers. The flexibility of working from home enables them to balance family and career. Our maternity benefits rank among the industry’s best, ensuring comprehensive support for mothers in the workplace.

Could you share insights into MGN Pakistan’s returnship program for women and its impact on career comeback opportunities?

Mashreq has recently launched ‘Reignite’, its new Returning Women programme globally for female professionals wishing to resume their careers after a break. The programme is suitable for any woman that has the right skill set and is looking to rejoin the workforce right from junior to senior level associates. It is applicable to qualified women who have taken a hiatus of at least 12 months from full-time employment because of maternity, elderly care, family responsibilities, or pursuing higher studies, hobbies, or other personal priorities.

We have charted a well-structured return-to-work plan for women at all levels with a focus on training, mentoring, and upskilling the participants so that they can competently take on their prior job responsibilities. At MGN Pakistan, we are passionate about women’s empowerment, and the ‘Reignite’ programme is an integral part of our ongoing efforts in this space.

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