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WIM urges for more board-chair positions for women in Sri Lanka corporate sector



Says that no industry should be labeled on gender bias

by Sanath Nanayakkare

Having more women leaders in corporate management correlates with increased financial and non-financial performance, therefore, the current numbers of women leaders across the country’s corporate landscape should be increased by allowing more of their kind to hold board-chair positions, Women in Management (WIM) Founder & Chairperson Dr. Sulochana Segera told the Island Financial Review.

“It has been proved that when there are women involved in decision-making on corporate boards, those companies reflect favourable outcomes in their performance. Women leaders are able to make this difference because they are very accountable and ethical,” WIM chairperson said.

“Women account for 52.3% of Sri Lanka’s population. They have shown their ability to handle crisis situations with great resilience. So, their influence can have a positive impact at all levels of business, not just in decision-making and leadership roles. If the country doesn’t attract and utilize their talent, it would be wasting a human resource that makes up more than half of its population,” she said.

When asked if the Sri Lankan corporate sector has not yet made an environment conducive to tapping the fullest potential of women leadership and the contribution from women workers at all levels, she replied,” I think that a supporting environment is already in place. You can’t expect to create a perfect environment for absolute gender diversity and parity. It is just that the number of women employed in decision-making roles has to go up. Improving the work environment for women to thrive and deliver their best would be an ongoing process. It is also up to women to step forward and take up these opportunities.”She noted that just by adding a family member to a board may not help ensure the formation of a well-performing board.

Asked whether Sri Lankan women prefer to enter only women-friendly businesses such as apparel, FMCG, she said,” In fact, those sectors used to be our cottage industries and businesses. Now they are operating at a large scale, and we tend to call them ‘women-friendly’. No industry should be labeled on gender bias. It is the passion and the commitment that women bring to any industry that matters. Today there are women in the construction sector, road development sector which are thought to be male-dominant. Their numbers may not still be significant, but the numbers are growing and these women will be role-models for other women who share similar passion. It is not about intruding male-dominated sectors, but entering those sectors with passion and working with male counterparts in collaboration so that these women can advance their career prospects in high-growth sectors while playing a vital role in boosting the national economy.”

She also said that Sri Lanka needs mentors who can provide help in guiding women through the new and unprecedented challenges they confront.WIM Sri Lanka launched the Second Edition of the Women Top50 Calendar for the year 2023 featuring 12 women Icons on 4th January at the Galadari Hotel. Sara Twigg Programme Manager – Women in Work Sri Lanka International Finance Corporation- was the guest of honour at the event.

This year, WIM has featured women from diverse backgrounds like business, entrepreneurship, corporate boards, state sector, banking, Insurance, corporate careers, legal and etc.

January – Gillian Edwards, Independent Non-Executive Director, Commercial Credit and Finance PLC, February – DevikaEllepola, Head of Passenger Sales, Emirates Airline in Sri Lanka, March – Prof. Dr. Thushari Koralage, Principal/Managing Director, Asian Grammar School (Colombo/Matara), April – Julian Devika Anthony (LLB.), Barrister & Solicitor, President, WIM Canada Chapter, May – NilushiKumaradas, Head of Procurement, Coca Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd, June – Nirosha Jagodaarachchi, Chief Executive Officer, British Cosmetics (Pvt) Ltd, July – Dawn Austin, Managing Director, NIDRO Supply (Pvt) Ltd, August – Shehara de Silva, Non Exec Director, Keells Food Plc, September – Shashi Kandambi Jassim, Professional Banker, October– Keasila Jayawardana, Chairperson, National Savings Bank Plc, November -WIM Sri Lanka Team, Waruni Algama, Vijitha Samarakkodige, Summaiya Macan Markar, Dr. Himalee De Silva, Niroshini Rathnasinghe, Fazeela Dharmarathne & Dr. Nadini Wickarmasinghe, December- Manindri Dias Bandaranayake, Group Chief Brand Marketing Officer, Janashakthi Group.

WIM chairperson said that younger women will have the chance to be inspired by those featured in the calendar and find new ways to make history of their own.

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Exterminators PLC certified as great place to work



Travis Ferreira, Executive Director, ‘Extermina tors PLC’, receiving the certificate from the GPTW team

Exterminators PLC announces that it has been certified as a Great Place to Work for the second year in a row. This achievement reaffirms our commitment to creating an environment that fosters learning, development, and success for our staff members. The certification was awarded after an independent audit and certification process conducted by the renowned organisation Great Place to Work (GPTW), which evaluated our company across various focus areas. Exterminators PLC excelled in the Trust Index, scoring high points in all focus areas during the certification process.

“The challenges we faced over the past twelve months were unprecedented. We are proud of our coworkers, who kept our business operating without interruption by working collaboratively and courageously and leaning on our collective creativity, innovation, and passion. Our slogan was ‘How can we’ keep the promise we made? and we constantly innovated to get the job done, no matter how difficult it was.

We are grateful to our coworkers who collaborated with us during these most challenging times and for their pure commitment and loyalty towards Exterminators PLC, which kept us moving forward despite unprecedented obstacles.” Marlon Ferreira the Managing Director said.

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SLT-MOBITEL mTunes introduces ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo



Bringing elevated lifestyle experiences, SLT-MOBITEL is offering users the ultimate chance to turn music into wealth with its new ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo on mTunes.mTunes is a digital lifestyle service that allows customers to personalise their Caller Ring Back Tone (CRBT) with their favourite songs or audio content. It adds a unique and personalised touch to phone calls, allowing customers to express their originality and preferences with their loved ones.

With a vast collection of songs on the mTunes platform, the ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo offers users the opportunity to connect with their hearts’ content and win big cash prizes. From September 1st to November 30th, 2023, the ‘Be a Millionaire’ promo on mTunes promises incredible prizes for lucky participants. The grand prize is an amazing Rupees One million (Rs. 1,000,000) with additional rewards of Rs. 100,000 for the second winner and Rs. 50,000 for the third place. But the path to wealth does not end; seven more lucky winners will receive Rs. 10,000 each, and every week, there will be twelve lucky winners of Rs. 10,000 each in cash prizes.

Participating in the promotion is easy. Existing and new CRBT users have the chance to win these fantastic prizes, including becoming millionaires, by simply activating more mTunes during the promotional period. With multiple cash prizes available, there are numerous opportunities to win every week. The ‘Be a Millionaire’ promotion is a golden opportunity to make dreams come true.

Users can increase their chances of winning by simply activating more mTunes daily. Users can also experience the fun, excitement, and entertainment offered by mTunes and enjoy the world of music.

For more information, contact mTunes at 777 or visit

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Lanka can build strong tourism ‘eco-brand’: UN official



United Nations Resident Representative to Sri Lanka, Azusa Kobota


ECONOMYNEXT –Sri Lanka can build an ‘eco-brand’ catering especially to younger tourists who feel strongly about the environment, United Nations Resident Representative to Sri Lanka, Azusa Kobota said.

About 70 percent of global travellers prioritise sustainability in their holiday choices, marking a ten percent increase from 2021, while around 30 percent of travellers feel guilty about flying, due to carbon emissions, she said.

“As the world embraces green thinking during this time of economic recovery efforts, the objective of the tourism sector cannot simply be about increasing the number of inbound tourists,” Kobota said at an event marking World Tourism Day in Colombo.

“It has to be about enhancing their experience through green lenses, by implementing a responsible, eco-conscious paradigm for the sector and building a stronger eco-brand around the sustainable agenda for Sri Lanka,”

“This is no longer about reducing the trade offs between growing the industry and protecting the environment.

“We must see nature as our asset and solutions to be obtained for the exponential growth for our future generations.”

The sustainable tourism market is estimated to have earned 195 billion US dollars in 2022, and is expected to reach about 656 billion US dollars in 2032, she said.

“Tourists, particularly the younger generations from gen X,Y,Z are deeply, deeply conscious about the long term choices of their actions, and the adverse impact of tourists on the environment.

“Statistics show that a significant proportion of global travellers, about 30 percent, feel guilty about flying due to the environmental impact and 22 percent say they actively prefer public transport and bicycle rental options, over renting a car.”

Sri Lanka welcomed one million tourists by September 26 and is expecting more that 1.5 million tourists by the end of the year.

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