“Young women of today need to decide carefully between a hobby and a career. Doing a job just for the sake of getting out of the house will never enable you to become a successful career woman.” Shar Bano, Executive Vice President at UBL, exemplifies what a woman can achieve if she is clear about her roles in her own head. She excels at the various roles she performs; being a mother to two sons, a mentor to young women at work, a homemaker, and a wife. “I believe being a rebel is not an answer,” says Shar Bano, “The perfect woman is one who is able to strike a balance between all her responsibilities – keeping her parents happy, leading a successful marital life and at the same time being a good boss.”
To reach the pinnacle of success, this young woman faced various challenges – from lacking mentors in her family to financing her education herself. She explains how in her traditional Pashtoon family girls marry early and she married at the condition that she will be allowed to pursue her education. She graduated with an MBA degree after she got married and managed her studies and the responsibilities of a married woman with strength. Shar Bano talks about the similarities in the transitions a woman faces at home and at work. She compares the transition from being a carefree girl to a young married woman to the transition of steadily climbing up the corporate ladder and how every step brings more responsibilities. “Initially, mastering the art of facing so many changes in my personal as well as professional life was difficult. I even had to find time to get some sleep in those days. But now, it is easier. I m at a point where I somewhat understand life and myself.” When she started running her home she realized that she can be a good manager. “I could always get the cook to make good food even though I couldn’t cook myself,” she says with a laugh. The reason she works in a bank is that she knew she would be successful in an environment where she had to coach people to deliver targets. In her opinion if a girl is not comfortable in an office environment then it’s better to look for other options rather than wasting time at the wrong place.
She talks about her work with a lot of passion and that may have been adopted from her mother. “Girls didn’t get an education in the family that I came from. My mother never went to school but she vowed to ensure her daughters graduate. My mother’s passion for my education became a trigger for me and became my passion as well.” Sharbano reminisces about a moment that she believes to be her miracle moment. “My mother promised to get me a gold chain if I completed fourteen years of education and graduated. Today I have a lot of other chains, what God has given me is immense but none can ever be more special than the one she gave to me,” Shar Bano says with tears in her eyes.
Shar Bano believes in complete equality for genders. Anytime you restrict something for a specific gender you are killing merit. “Even if you say that there’s a job you’ll only hire women for, you are compromising on merit. Once you have merit then equality will follow by itself.”
“If you are beautiful from the inside then it will show on the outside as well,” says Sharbano. She uses Ponds Age Miracle cream every night to ensure that her skin keeps looking young and beautiful but it is clearly her inner beauty and confidence that shines through and truly makes her a Miracle Woman. Her journey bears testament to the fact that difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.