Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Senior Vice President & Group Country Manager for the GCC at Visa, sheds light on the significance of empowering women and Visa’s comprehensive efforts to champion this cause.
Visa, a global payments powerhouse, has prioritized the empowerment of women on a global scale, emphasizing inclusivity for the betterment of economies worldwide. For Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, SVP & Group Country Manager for the GCC, the rationale is straightforward: “economies that include everyone, uplift everyone.” This philosophy underscores the importance of Visa’s She’s Next initiative.
The year-long program is designed to provide female entrepreneurs and their businesses with essential elements for success: coaching, mentoring, guidance on business growth, funding for expansion, and exposure to a vast network of partners. Dr. Jaffar notes tangible success stories globally, with around 250 organizations in the Middle East alone excelling through participation in She’s Next.
This initiative is part of Visa’s broader commitment to work with 50 million small businesses globally, aiming to integrate enterprises into the financial fold and unlock a world of possibilities for entrepreneurs.
However, Visa’s dedication to women’s empowerment and diversity extends beyond mere pledges and programs. It is ingrained in the organizational culture, influencing every aspect of the company. Dr. Jaffar’s own career exemplifies the heights achievable for talented women with the right support.
“Visa is one of the rare organizations genuinely committed to diversity in the workforce, and that means very different things for very different people,” she emphasizes. Dr. Jaffar, as a working mother, appreciates the freedom and flexibility Visa provides, allowing her to set her agenda and work remotely when needed. The company’s commitment to flexibility enables her to balance professional and personal priorities effectively.
Her personal experience with Visa has shaped her leadership style, adopting the company’s people-centric approach. Dr. Jaffar sees Visa’s teams and individuals as its most valuable assets. “We fully understand that unless we really and truly work together to address all the upcoming challenges that the world will throw towards us, we will not bring the best out of ourselves,” she says. “That is really what, in my view, Visa stands for, and that is probably one of the biggest ways in which Visa continues to shape me as a leader every single day.”