How Roshan’s Community Investments Are Changing Afghanistan

Shireen Rahmani knows firsthand that operating a 21st century corporation in a conservative Muslim society presents unique challenges. She is the director of human resources at Roshan, Afghanistan’s largest telecommunications provider. When she heard late one evening that her colleague’s brother had been killed by the Taliban, she knew it was her responsibility to visit her bereaved co-worker, who was living alone in Kabul.

“The minute I walked in, [he] was totally shocked to see a woman out at that time of the night,” Rahmani says. In Afghanistan, families are often reluctant to even allow women in business, much less a position that requires traveling across the capital city alone at night — so much so that Roshan’s leaders have met with parents to assure them of their daughters’ safety while at work. At Roshan, women make up 20 percent of the staff and 17 percent of the senior management team in a country where the International Labour Organization found that as of 2014 only 16 percent of the workforce was female…


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