Welcoming our first cohort of fellows for the Women Leadership Fellows Program (WLFP).
This is a very special moment for Katalyst Labs as this group of accomplished & empowered women mark our first cohort for the Women Leadership Fellows Program. The WLFP envisions to increase the number of women leaders in the economy by helping women professionals & entrepreneurs accelerate their career in their respective fields.
Our cohort is an amalgamation of women entrepreneurs and professionals alike — we have entrepreneurs on board that have successfully been running their businesses and we have women professionals that have vast work experience in their relevant fields. This diverse group has one thing in common which is passion to grow. We are excited to be on this journey with them!
Shirin holds a Masters degree in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Babson College and an undergraduate degree in Economics & Finance from SUNY Plattsburgh. Shirin has worked in the areas of gender, entrepreneurship education and community development, both in Pakistan and the UAE. In her previous role at the Pakistan Business Council, she led initiatives designed to foster family-friendly workplaces in the private sector through collaboration with various NGOs and business leaders. She is now excited to enhance student experiences at Habib University in the Office of Undergraduate Education. She also serves as a member of the Managing Committee for the World Zoroastrian Organization, and is a Salamti Fellow under the Shaoor Foundation for Education and Awareness.
Anam Mansuri is the CEO of Limu Content Studio, a boutique digital agency that specializes in creative disruptive content. She is also the founder of Womanistan, an Instagram page with a following of over 229,000. Anam has worked in media houses around the world, from Details Magazine at Condé Nast Publications to Black Book Magazine during her time in New York. With Coke Studio Season Four she started focusing on digital content creation and went on to join Creative Chaos and then The Brand Crew as Content Director. With Limu Content Studio she has worked with almost 50 brands and organizations in a span of three years, including Habitt, Interwood L’Oreal and The Heritage Foundation.
Shanza Khan holds a Masters of Arts in Public Policy from Harvard University. She was one of only two students to receive a fully funded Dean’s Fellowship and was the recipient of the Jane Mansbridge Award and Roy Scholarship. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in Economics from Emory University at the age of nineteen and Magna Cum Laude in Business Administration from Mount Marty College at the age of seventeen. She has over 20 years of experience working with top development organizations including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Aga Khan Development Network, MicroFinance Opportunities, Overseas Development Institute, DFID, USAID, GIZ, UNICEF, UNDP and was one of the founding members of Strategic and Policy Research Pvt. Ltd in Islamabad. She has started Eye on Ivy, which is a college counseling firm that focuses on the three intertwined areas of college admissions, profile building and international competitions.
Hailing from Balochistan, Yumna Iftikhar has been working as a Manager at NIC Quetta. Her professional achievements include raising a grant of Rs. 600 million to establish National Incubation Center (NIC) Quetta, graduated 68 startups creating 800+ jobs, raising a grant of Rs. 14 million from Karandaaz to support women-led businesses in Balochistan and raising Rs. 19.7 million of investment for 14 businesses led by women in Balochistan. Besides that, she has been serving as Sub Editor at Youth Times Pakistan and has written articles for different forums, online magazines and community blogs.
Aliya Ahmed has worked in leading Multinational and local organizations as Head of Marketing for 20+ years. Currently. She is the Head of Digital Communications & Customer Analytics at United Bank Limited. Before joining UBL she was based out of Dubai – leading MESA region for Western Union Financial Services. Aliya has attended several management programs and trainings in USA, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Bangkok, Singapore which has kept her knowledge updated about the recent marketing trends and concepts.
Sidra graduated in Social Development and Policy from Habib University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration, from Institute of Business Administration (IBA). Sidra has prior experience in Project Management and has worked on projects pertaining to women empowerment, healthcare and education.
A Public Administration graduate, Amna started her professional journey at an Islamabad based think-tank with a strong focus on Pakistan-China bilateral relations and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Working at the intersection of design, technology, and partnerships, Amna is currently spearheading all things digital at Kamayi – a Lahore-based recruitment start-up working towards making hiring faster, easier and reliable. Driven by her passion for designing, developing and managing products/projects for low-resource populations (particularly girls and women), she has a solid history of accomplishments in devising and implementing channels to integrate women and youth in Pakistan’s growth trajectory. Her prior work experience revolved around creating digital ecosystems for multiple stakeholders, including government, political parties, private enterprises, start-ups, NGOs and INGOs.
Ramsha is currently the head of Digital Talking Point and Lead Trainer for Facebook “She Means Business” and “We Think Digital”. Her strength lies in devising specialized campaign strategies with out of the box concepts. She has an 8 year experience in digital communication and in the process has worked with top notch multinationals as a Community Developer and Reputation Manager.
Ghania has completed her Bachelors in Economics and Social sciences and MPhil in Development studies from LSE on a full merit scholarship. She has 6+ years of unique work experience across Multinationals, Public sector corporations, Government and multilaterals. She is currently working at Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi as a Program Manager for Children’s Literature Festival with a vision to expand the culture of reading for creativity, imagination, and multi-sensory stimulation in Pakistan. She also has a keen interest in the state of education in Pakistan and is working on initiatives to create new and innovative learning experiences beyond textbooks for our children and our community.
Zarfishar is a senior at Duke Kunshan University in China/Duke University in the USA. She’s a passionate entrepreneur at heart and has been involved with several startups in both China and Pakistan. She’s worked in the education consulting field focusing on empowering students to find themselves and what they enjoy while training them to succeed in college, in the healthcare/medical equipment industry in Pakistan delivering top quality lasers, as well as educating doctors on the non-medical part of their field by integrating academia with business.She hopes to build Pakistan’s startup ecosystem with scalable, sustainable businesses which are socially responsible.
Faiza is by profession an architect. She is presently working as a principal source for design projects at Arif Shah Private Limited. She is also pursuing her postgraduate degree from University of York in MSc. Innovation, Leadership and Management. Faiza operates a travel blog by the name of “Qasas-ul-Safar” and through this blog endeavours to increase the number of people from Pakistan in the digital world. In the future, Faiza hopes to launch another venture “Hastkaar” which will be focused on women in art.
Zara Bhatti is the Co-Founder and Principal Architect of a female-led architectural practice called Zara and Zara Design Studio in Islamabad. She completed her undergraduate from NUST, Islamabad and pursued her Masters from University of Pennsylvania after acquiring the Fulbright Scholarship. As a designer, she is a firm believer of contextual influences on her creations and the need for a more socially responsible architectural approach. Zara is an advocate for more female representation in the Design Field and believes her venture provides opportunities to young women to express themselves through their work. She is also an Assistant Professor at the Architecture Department of NUST.
Aliya Sultan is currently working as Senior Executive Human Capital in 10Pearls. She completed her undergraduate degree of Bachelors in Business Administration (BBA Honors) from the Institute of Business Management in December 2016 with a major in different aspects of Human Resources. She has gained work experience from different organizations like Habib University, The Aga Khan University, IBEX, and 10Pearls. Having 4+ years of experience in the HR field, she aspires to be in a leadership position in the next five years and wants to create an impact on people’s lives in one way or the other.
Zohra Ahmed is the Founder and Editor of The Feminist Witch, which is a digital resource platform for women and girls in Pakistan. She is a social entrepreneur with a background in journalism. She works to create a socioeconomic ecosystem for women in which they can become self-sustainable, and are simultaneously encouraged to thrive to their fullest potential.
Fatima is a computer science professional with three years of experience with various technologies including mobile apps, big data and no-code. She has worked in various industry domains to help organisations understand the impact technology could make in these sectors through pre-sales and business development roles.
Zulqarnain Abdul Jabbar
Zulqarnain completed her MCS from Karachi University in 2007 and then pursued MSCS from Muhammad Ali Jinnah University. She has twelve years worth of work experience out of which six have been at Folio3 as a Lead Software Engineer. Her area of expertise is in Microsoft Dynamics ERP and ASP. She has worked on PHP and Magento2 development as well
Abroo did her Bachelors of Engineering in Computer & Information Systems from NEDUET. After graduating she started her career as a software developer. She is currently working as a Senior Software Developer at folio3 and overall has a four year work experience in her field.
Laraib has more than six years of experience in the field of Quality Assurance and test automation. She is currently working as the lead quality assurance engineer at Folio3. She has also started her own clothing brand by the name of “Simplic”.
Dr. Misbah Munir
Misbah is an OBGYN and Public Health Specialist. She is currently Deputy Director MNCH at PPHI Sindh. She previously was the Program Manager at Poverty Eradication Initiative. She has extensive work experience related to public health and has a special interest in improving the lives of women. With a special interest in integrating technology in the health systems to enhance efficiency she is keen to learn and take up opportunities which will strengthen her skills in order to deliver the desired results.
Palwasha Yahya is Co-Founder of Global Entertainment Movement, a startup that aims to revolutionize the way client’s book talent and other media/entertainment services. Previously Palwasha was working as a full time actor/host for several media platforms and channels. She also helped direct and produce several public service documentaries. She endeavours to use the media as an effective tool to bring positive change in society.