Sima Kamil is currently the Head of Branch Banking at HBL, which is Pakistan’s largest bank. Her role is considered the most important after the CEO. When looking back at the struggles she had to go through to reach the pinnacle of success she says, “frankly the challenges were not huge as I was prepared to take risks when opportunities came my way. I had the benefit of a first class education and no bar from my family in making career choices which sometimes also required mobility. So, if a role was given to me based anywhere in the world, I would always say yes.” She’s someone who has enjoyed feeling empowered as a woman and making a real change while being at a local bank that is as huge as HBL.
Though Sima does not have any biological children, her husband’s daughter is just like her own. “When she was younger my inability to spend as much time at home was an issue with no easy solution,” explains Sima. Therefore, according to her, there is no such thing as creating a perfect work life balance and it's a constant and everyday decision. “My aim is to work hard and leave at 6pm whenever I can. I believe time management is critical.” For the very committed and hardworking Sima, the mantra to success for any young girl stepping into the workforce today is to not try to be a man and strive to gain respect as a woman.
Sima believes in achieving financial independence while making sure a woman’s self respect and dignity are maintained. However, emotional independence is neither possible nor desirable. “I think another word for loneliness would be emotional independence.”
Like any other woman, Sima has had her share of weak moments. “Doesn’t everyone feel weak at times?” she questions. “I have been able to overcome such moments sometimes with sheer will and sometimes by prayer. Staying connected with close friends always helps.”
Looking back, if Sima had the chance to do anything differently she would perhaps be less proud and kinder to non performers. She, in addition, does not feel it is very important for a woman to sometimes put herself first. In her opinion, your emphasis on yourself is counterproductive and simply selfish. She feels that her Miracle Moment is “knowing that I can achieve even if I am different and can stay different.” Sima’s words are sheer inspiration and her journey towards success remarkable.