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Artistic Milliners Director Recognized as a ‘Champion of Women’

Artistic Milliners managing director Murtaza Ahmed was named of one Financial Times’ “50 Global Male Champions of Women in Business” list.

The second annual “HERoes” list identifies individuals who champion women in the workplace and have made a substantial difference to women’s careers.

Since joining the company in 2008, Ahmed has set out to use his factory floors as agents of social change.

From literacy programs to employee training, the leadership behind the Pakistan-based mill has proven to be advocates for female employees. Half of Artistic Milliners’ top management is female—the highest in any manufacturing sector of Pakistan, the mill reported.

Under the umbrella of “Women at Milliners,” Ahmed has led projects such as HERhealth, which provides health-related knowledge and access to health services and products, and Gap Inc.’s P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement and Career Enhancement) Program for female employees. Through P.A.C.E., workers gain access to life skills and enhanced technical skills educations that will help advance their careers.

He has also implemented an adult literacy program and a micro-finance literacy program.

Ahmed has worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on a youth employability plan. Through this venture, women were taught employability skills by UNDP staff in Artistic Milliners’ factories and subsequently the women were hired by the mill as full time employees.

“It’s an honor to receive this award and thanks to Financial Times and HERoes in making the efforts to recognize and bring to light the strides we are making towards gender equality, but at the same time it is also a moment to set the bar high again and aim for even more ambitious goals,” Ahmed said.

Others who made the list include Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, CEO Salesforce and Target CEO Brian Cornell, CEO Target.