by AZALEA AZUAR
BANK Kerjasama Rakyat Malaysia Bhd’s (Bank Rakyat) chairman Datuk Noripah Kamso received “The Most Influential Woman in Islamic Business and Finance” title on June 17, at the WOMANi Awards 2019 in Dubai.
According to a press statement from Bank Rakyat, Noripah was assessed based on three methodologies — professional leadership, advocacy and industry-wide recognition.
She was ranked first among the top 300 international recipients from 16 other countries who are leading change, breaking barriers and creating new possibilities in the world of Islamic finance globally.
“In compiling the list, Cambridge IFA canvassed a wide range of market opinions and conducted extensive data mining exercise(s) before drawing up a definitive list of the 300 most influential women in Islamic finance, assessing their influence and leadership over their company and market sector, as well as career and performance to date,” the statement said.
The award also recognised her pioneering work along with Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre of Bank Negara Malaysia to place the nation in the world map as a global Islamic finance hub, on top of her leadership persona.
The assessment also took into consideration her ability to reinvent herself by connecting practitioners with the academic arena internationally Having completed her lecturing role
in Drake University in Iowa, US, in 2015, she was a fellow in the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford, UK, tasked to establish an Islamic finance unit.
From 2014 until this day, Noripah continues to bring the world of Islamic finance into the classrooms through her lectures in Saint Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon. Commenting on the occasion, Noripah highlighted three areas of focus for Islamic finance and beyond. They are direct funding to Islamic economies such as halal ecosystems and digitalisation; SME financing to generate fair distribution of wealth, reduce income inequality and increase purchasing power; and reaching non-Muslims.
The WOMANi Awards is organised by Cambridge IFA, a think tank based in the UK. WOMANi’s initial focus was on women in Islamic businesses and finance, but has extended to promoting philanthropy and gender equality in the corporate and social sectors.
“Islamic finance is for everyone. Halal is for all,” Noripah said in the statement.