Khairunissa Jiwani

Bank Manager with HBL, a long-time IFC partner


I have had a long career in banking - and a successful one. But there have been many times when I have had to prove myself because I am a woman. When I had my first child and needed flexible work hours, I was asked by my employer what my husband did for a living. When I told him he was a doctor, (my boss) asked "Why do you need to work?" and said I should stay at home.


When I returned from maternity leave after having my second child, my position had been given to a man. I was transferred to another branch in an unsafe area. I was disheartened but my mentors told me to keep fighting. I stayed and helped boost revenues by 100 million rupees.


I joined HBL in 2010 as a bank manager. My branch was in a commercial area. Generally a branch manager is positioned at one branch for three years. My customers were so happy with me that my stay was extended two years.


When HBL began holding training seminars on gender diversity in early 2015, 14 male and 14 female staff from all rungs of the ladder attended. I discussed all my experiences at this forum. I was very happy when the training was rolled out for all HBL staff. I saw the issues I had brought up were being addressed in these sessions.


I believe in community service. Every day after leaving the bank,  I spend a few hours volunteering at a Jammat Khanas for the Ismaili community in Karachi.