- Thought Leader, Ashoka Changemakers
- Alumni Thunderbird School of Global Management
10, 000 Women Business Course
Ms. Maria Umar – President and Founder Women’s Digital League
Maria Umar is the founder and president of Women’s Digital League (WDL) – a social enterprise working for economic empowerment of Pakistani women. WDL is one of only two official partners of Facebook in Pakistan. Moreover, UpWork, the largest marketplace for freelancers, has also partnered with WDL for its Social Impact Project.
She successfully implemented the first Digital Livelihood Training Project (DLTP) funded by World Bank in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KP) to teach women how to “e-lance”. Punjab Information Technology Board also had her as an advisor for their TechHub initiative working on same goal as WDL; training of youth in digital work. Both these collaborations led to KP Youth Employment Program and e-Rozgaar that are large scale implementations of WDL’s mission by the two governments.
Google Pakistan profiled WDL in its online campaign showcasing innovation in the use of technology. Maria was nominated a Thought Leader by Ashoka Changemakers. WDL also won the Early Stage Award in Changemakers’ “Women Powering Work” competition.
Local and International media has featured her as an innovative leader. These publications include Mashable, Forbes, Virgin, Ashoka, Express Tribune, Dawn, BBC and CNBC to name a few. Maria is also actively working to encourage girls to opt for STEM at an early age. As such she is credited with bringing the Technovation Challenge to Pakistan.
She was appointed as the first Chairperson of Think Tank Committee of WeCreate Center. WomenX, a project of World Bank, also has Maria in the forefront as Project Manager and Consultant for Sustainable Business Practices.
Recognized as a strong champion and advocate for women, Maria is one of the leaders in the movement for gender inclusion. As a result of interventions by her and other likeminded women, organizers have become more mindful of giving visibility to women at important conversations and decision-making tables.
Maria is a member of Internet Society of Pakistan, WeCreate Center, and Punjab Commission on Status of Women among others.