Samina Akram left her job at Merrill Lynch International Bank eight years ago to start her own consultancy in London specializing in Shariah-compliant finance. Now she’s seeking to empower women in male-dominated Islamic banking.
Bloomberg News reports what started as an informal ladies lunch club with other women in the industry will this week become the first global Women in Islamic & Ethical Finance Forum, a conference for more than 200 people at KPMG’s Canary Wharf offices in London.
Shariah-compliant finance forbids interest and typically relies on deals in which the buyer and the seller share risk as well as profit.
Akram, 36, who set up Samak Consultants, is seeking to support women in an industry where they face more obstacles than in conventional banking because of religious conservatism, restrictions on mixed-gender working environments and stereotypes about women in Islamic finance.
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