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Unilever Horana Factory Recruits First Ever Female Workforce



Achieves another milestone in diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Unilevers Horana facory has recruited its first ever female work force with 23 new women employees joining the production line at its personal products and baby cologne plants currently run entirely by females, the company announced last week.

The 23 new women employees possess vocational qualifications with some having degrees in various specializations, a news release said.

It said that in Sri Lanka, 55% of Unilever’s management committee are made up of women while 31% of its total workforce are females. Globally the company has achieved a 50:50 gender balance which was a commitment made in 2010 to achieve gender balance in managerial roles across its global business by the end of 2020, a target which Unilever achieved a year early.

Speaking about Unilever’s commitment to diversity & inclusion, Ananya Sabharwal, Director, Human Resources of Unilever Sri Lanka said, “We have been striving to increase female representation in our frontline operations in Manufacturing and Sales, which are currently male dominated. Introducing our first ever female workforce at Horana marks one of the proudest achievements in the diversity history of Unilever Sri Lanka. I am humbled to say that we have also launched some industry-first policies like our fertility support and domestic violence support policies. For us, diversity is not just about gender balance, but about creating an inclusive climate for all kinds of diverse talent. I truly believe that allowing people to be themselves helps both individuals and organisations thrive”.

Commenting on the milestone, Nayani Peiris, Head of Employee Relations and Senior HR Business Partner of Unilever Sri Lanka said, “Seeing our first female employees at Horana is the fruitful result of careful planning over a few years. It has been a long and exciting journey but worth the effort to get it right the first time around. Having been a relatively male dominant site from inception, our Horana factory floor underwent several changes to create an inclusive environment for our female factory workforce. We are proud of our efforts and the steps we have taken to drive more female representation at the workplace.”

Adding his thoughts, Damith Abeyratne, Horana Factory Manager, Unilever Sri Lanka said, “From designing and building state-of-the-art female friendly washrooms and sanitary and welfare facilities, to identifying areas where our female factory workforce could be deployed, and creating awareness on the importance of diversity & inclusion to our male employees, we have invested heavily to build an all-inclusive environment at our factory premises. We are happy to have come this far in empowering women and promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in our workplace.”

Unilever tested the waters first by introducing women employees on casual terms during peak periods over the last three years. The company then underwent a comprehensive plan to retain its first female factory workforce, the release said.

Since its inception in 1938, Unilever Sri Lanka has established itself as one of the largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in Sri Lanka. Its current product portfolio includes 30 market leading brands in categories such as Home Care, Personal Care and Consumables. 96% of its products are manufactured locally, to the strictest manufacturing standards.

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Oil prices rise as Saudi Arabia pledges output cuts – Opec+




(picture BBC)

Oil-producing countries have agreed to continued cuts in production in a bid to shore up flagging prices.

Saudi Arabia said it would make cuts of a million barrels per day (bpd) in July and Opec+ said targets would drop by a further 1.4 million bpd from 2024.

Opec+ accounts for around 40% of the world’s crude oil and its decisions can have a major impact on oil prices.

In Asia trade on Monday, Brent crude oil rose by as much as 2.4% before settling at around $77 a barrel.

The seven hour-long meeting on Sunday of the oil-rich nations, led by Russia, came against a backdrop of falling energy prices.

Total production cuts, which Opec+ has undertaken since October 2022, reached 3.66 million bpd, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

Opec+, a formulation which refers to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, had already agreed to cut production by two million bpd, about 2% of global demand.


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Manpower services agency wins accolades for its contribution to foreign employment sector



Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services receives the award

Its MD says. ‘go abroad only if you can work hard’

Siraj Manpower Services, one of Sri Lanka’s leading foreign employment agencies, was honoured with the Three-Star Award at the ‘Golden Awards’ 2023, organised by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). This award ceremony was organised to honour foreign employment agencies that have made a significant contribution to the development of the foreign employment sector, which is a major source of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka. Siraj Cafoor, Managing Director of Siraj Manpower Services, was presented with the award at the award ceremony which was held at the BMICH in Colombo under the patronage of Minister of Foreign Employment and Labour Manusha Nanayakkara.

Having been established in 2002, Siraj Manpower Services ( has earned a reputation in the field of foreign employment by winning the trust of customers for more than 20 years. It has been offering job opportunities in the Middle East countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia as housekeepers, drivers, sanitation workers, labourers and also jobs related to the apparel industry. All these workers are entitled to approved salary scales certified by the SLBFE.

“We always stand for the safety of workers who go abroad through our organisation. We work to solve the problems that arise in relation to the contracts that the workers have entered into. I must mention something special to those who go abroad for employment. That is, you should keep in mind that you go abroad only to work. Go abroad only if you can work hard. You have to remember that you are going abroad to earn some more money and achieve the advancement of your family.” said Siraj Cafoor.

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Direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake to commence from August



A special discussion between Turkish Ambassador – Demet Sekercioglu and Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation – Nimal Siripala de Silva took place last week at the ministry office. The aim of the discussion was to seek authorization to commence direct flights from the Turkish Capital Istanbul to Katunayake, Sri Lanka. The Chief of Turkish Airlines’ South Asia Office Fathi Bozkurt was also present during the discussion.

Currently, Turkish Airlines connects with Sri Lanka through a route that includes a stopover in the Maldives, resulting in an additional travel time of one and a half hours. The delay caused by this routing is not favored by travelers, as emphasized by the Ambassador.

The Chief of Turkish Airlines requested for time and space to be allocated in order to initiate direct flights between Istanbul and Katunaike, thus providing convenience for Turkish tourists and travelers who prefer visit Sri Lanka.

The Minister announced that the request would be forwarded to the Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka and the Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) (Private) Limited. The aim is to establish direct flights between Istanbul and Katunayake starting from August this year.

Turkish Airlines, a renowned airline with a fleet of over 100 aircraft, offers flights connecting Europe’s Vancouver and New York. The Chief of Turkish Airlines said that the new service would not only benefit European travelers but also encourage them to travel to Sri Lanka.

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