Standing left to right – Mr. Dinesh Jebamani (Chief Manager Liability Product Management and New Age Media – Seylan Bank), Mr.Sudesh Peiris (Senior Manager – Digital Banking Channels – Seylan Bank), Ms. S.Senevirathne (Representative of the Revenue Department – Western Province), Mr. Tilan Wijeyesekera (Deputy General Manager – Retail Banking – Seylan Bank) and Mr. Malik Wickremanayaka (Deputy General Manager – Operations – Seylan Bank)

March 16 (LBO) – Allowing employers and female workers to negotiate a work-family balance is far more effective in practice than laws, Sri Lankan women in business told a forum this week.

In 2005, 7.52 million of Sri lanka’s labour force was employed of which 30.9 percent were females, statistics show, which was half the rate for males.

Females who balance both work and family generally prefer the right to negotiate for perks and benefits, than be given them through broad legislation.

The working female would like to earn what’s entitled to them rather than this being imposed upon them by legislation, Kimarli Fernando, Head of client relationships Standard Chartered Bank said at the second LBO-LBR women in enterprise forum held on Wednesday.

Employers have a key role to play, such as offering flexible working hours and more incentives that would enable women to comfortably balance their work-family environment.

The ability to negotiate a balance will let more women use opportunities to reach the top ranks in the enterprise sector, Fernando and Sharmini Ratwatte, Director at MAS Investments, said.

Statistics show 80 percent of women work in the lo