Chargé d’Affaires Andrew Schofer at the S&P Global 20K Women Mentorship Milestone Event

CU.S. Mission Pakistan and the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council are tremendously proud to celebrate S&P Global’s milestone achievement in reaching 20,000 women as mentees, under the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council’s Million Women Mentors Initiative. Just one year ago, Ambassador Blome celebrated S&P’s goal of 10,000 women mentees. These are remarkable efforts, and I applaud Mr. Zahur and his team’s impressive and energetic work, which reflects the best of U.S. corporate and social values in action.

The Million Women Mentors is an initiative of the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council, led by member company Pod and STEMConnector. By 2025, it aims to provide one million Pakistani women and girls with the contacts, networks, and skills critical to succeed in the workforce or as entrepreneurs.

With women accounting for only 14.4% of total business owners in Pakistan, and more than twice the number of women out of the labor force than men, we know that women are the true key to unlocking economic growth.

The U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council, a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of State and Texas A&M University, catalyzes commitments from the private sector, civil society, and government leaders in both countries to advance women’s education, entrepreneurship, and employment.

Mentoring is a powerful way to encourage and equip women and girls to pursue their career goals in all sectors. We are incredibly excited that S&P Global joined with us in this initiative and has been a trailblazer in reaching their mentoring commitments.

Mentorship nurtures our next generation of professionals in the workplace and can enable women to rise to positions of leadership.

Mentorship creates visible role models, inspiring young women to aspire to careers previously deemed inaccessible, thereby igniting a ripple effect of empowerment and societal progress.

In Pakistan, we understand the pressing need to involve more women in the formal workforce to unlock this country’s economic potential. Professional work offers women access to steady and equitable compensation, career development opportunities, and the possibility to lead large teams and organizations.

Succeeding in such career tracks – whether in financial services, product development, research and academia, or the hard sciences – demands focus, hard work, relationship-building, and sometimes, a bit of luck.

Beyond those hurdles, we understand that many women in Pakistan must challenge cultural norms to pursue their career dreams. They must enlist their family’s support, negotiate the fiercely competitive and often biased hiring process, and navigate potentially dangerous public spaces to reach their workplace.

That is all before work even begins.

Imagine the impact and value that an active listener, a knowledgeable guide, and a protecting patron within an organization offers to young professional women.

These mentors can help women build their subject matter knowledge, learn from mistakes, surpass office politics, and stay committed to long term career development despite daily setbacks.

I salute those volunteers who have committed to S&P Global’s ambitious mentorship targets.

Let us now hear from the real stars of the show, our wonderful mentee participants.

To conclude, let me share a thought from Pakistan’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who stated, “No nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with the men. No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men.”

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