GIZ voices

‘No matter who you are, GIZ offers the opportunity to take on a senior position.’

Zubair Kamal (52), senior administration and finance officer in the FATA development programme and Chairperson of the National Staff Council, GIZ Pakistan

Zubair Kamal‘I’ve been working for GIZ in Pakistan since 2006, dealing with people from different countries. My direct team consists of five national staff members, two women and three men. For me, the only thing that counted in their selection was their skill set. And yet, we need to acknowledge that the preconditions are not the same for all staff members. In some parts of Pakistan, it’s difficult for women to work outside their homes. Our project supports the tribal areas formerly known as Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan. Here in particular, as team leader, I do everything I can to create a protected workplace. I had, for instance, already introduced flexible working hours before the coronavirus pandemic, so that women don’t have to travel in the dark in winter. Cultural sensitivities are taken into consideration, because here it is often families who decide whether women are allowed to work. But slowly, things are starting to change for women in Pakistan. More and more want to take up a profession, and GIZ offers a good working environment for this. As Chairman of the National Staff Council, I know that the management of GIZ Pakistan is working hard to increase the share of women in the workforce. The goal is to fill half of all posts with women. To make progress in this area, for example, we introduced an internship programme in 2020, geared specifically towards women. We have also introduced a mentorship programme in which females can work in tandem with a manager, thus enabling them to grow into a leadership role. No matter who you are – man or woman, national staff or field staff – GIZ offers the opportunity to take on a senior position. This is not the case in every company.’

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