A country where marriage might still mean the end of women's career, where women's social and economic security is yet to be confirmed; some of our women have extraordinary achievements and are recognised across borders.
Discrimination against women is prevalent in almost every sector. Even if they start working somewhere, they seldom get the opportunity to attain higher position and face gender-based discrimination. Time has proven that if women are given the opportunity, they inevitably excel. Yet, most parents are reluctant to send their daughter abroad to pursue higher education because they believe a girl should not go abroad alone. However, some women have overcome all the obstacles and achieved top positions in their workforce, giving us the hope that we can achieve whatever we want. With proper training, education and strong willpower, some of these women did exceptionally well. Let's know about some of the inspiring Bangladeshi females in recent times.
Humayra Azam is the first female CEO of a commercial bank in Bangladesh. She recently became the CEO of Trust Bank. She began her career as a management trainee at ANZ Grindlays Bank in 1990. After working in several other well-known places, she joined as the managing director and CEO of IPDC Bangladesh in April 2009 and prompted significant growth for the company.
Sonia Bashir Kabir
Sonia Bashir Kabir, the first female tech venture capitalist from Bangladesh, concentrating on tech start-ups in emerging South Asian countries, is the founder of SBK Tech Ventures & SBK Foundation. Since completing her BSc from California State University- East Bay, and MBA in Finance and Marketing from Santa Clara University, Sonia become unstoppable and has innumerable achievements in her pocket. She served as the managing director of Microsoft for Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan & Laos from June 2014 till May 2019. In 2016, she was one of the five recipients of Microsoft's prestigious Founders Award from Bill Gates. Currently, Sonia Bashir Kabir is also a board member of IPDC Finance (Non-banking Financial Institution), BRAC University Bangladesh and Shakti Foundation.
Ivy Huq Russell
Ivy Huq Russell is the CEO and founder of Maya, which provides online health care services. The consultants of Maya provide consultation every 14 seconds. Ivy's concern for women's wellbeing has prompted her to create Maya, formerly known as Maya Apa; which allows women to ask for help anonymously. She was also a former analyst of HSBC Alternatives Investment in the United Kingdom.
Maliha M Quadir
The Founder and Managing Director of Shohoz, Maliha Quadir has been recognised as one of the top female founders. She completed her MBA from Harvard Business School. She was also an associate director of Standard Chartered Bank.
Maliha M Quadir is the Founding Managing Director of Shohoz, the largest Super App of Bangladesh, offering a wide range of services, including food delivery, ride-hailing, tickets, health and logistics services. Shohoz has raised the largest round of funding in the Bangladesh startup ecosystem, to date from various European and Asian investors. Shohoz serves 5MM+ users and employs 300+ people currently.
An MBA holder of Harvard Business School, Maliha M Quadir did her undergraduate degree in Computer Science & Economics at Smith College. Before returning to Bangladesh, she worked for a decade in the US and Singapore in reputed firms in investment banking and technology like Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered Bank, Nokia and Vistaprint.
Maliha M Quadir has received recognition for being amongst top 100 Global Female Founders by UK business insider magazine, the Best Female ICT Entrepreneur award from the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, the Young Global Leader recognition by the World Economic Forum, the Daily Star Best ICT Startup of the Year and Top Ten Award by Ananya magazine.
Tina F Jabeen is the CEO and managing director of Startup Bangladesh, the first venture capital company in the country which is sponsored by the Government of Bangladesh with a committed fund of taka 500 crores. As a successful CEO of Startup Bangladesh, Tina has helped many to get funds and initiate their start-ups. Tina is also a senior policy advisor to the ICT Ministry. She completed BA with honours in Accounting and Finance from the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business.
Shammi Quddus is working as a Product Manager at Google. She was an exceptionally talented student and completed BSc in Environmental Science from MIT. She is also a co-founder of the youth leadership program, BYLC Graduate Network. After working in WaterHealth International (Bangladesh) for 3 years, Shammi applied for an MBA at Stanford University, Graduate School of Business and also applied for Masters of Public Administration at Harvard University, John F Kennedy School of Government. When she received offer letters from both universities, she took the challenge of pursuing a dual degree by enrolling in both.