“Top50” Professional and Career Women Awards 2023 spotlights inspiring women

The highly anticipated “Top50” Professional and Career Women Awards 2023, organized by Women in Management (WIM) in partnership with Women in Work, a collaboration between the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Government of Australia, successfully concluded,
honouring exceptional women from Sri Lanka and the Maldives who have made remarkable contributions to their respective fields.

The 11th edition of the awards celebrated women representing diverse professions such as hospitality, banking and finance, logistics and supply chains, entrepreneurship, media and law, amongst others, for their outstanding achievements and inspiring influence on their communities.

The event also recognized Sri Lankan organizations that have played a pivotal role in supporting the growth and empowerment of women in the workplace. The Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, was the Chief Guest at the event.

Dr Sulochana Segera, Founder and Chairperson of Women in Management (WIM), expressed her enthusiasm about this year’s awards, “The 2023 awards were a celebration of resilience, optimism, hard work, and growth. As we navigated through unprecedented challenges over the past year, the
winners of this year’s awards serve as a reminder of the boundless possibilities and opportunitiesthat can arise from adversity. These women have showcased their extraordinary potential, challenging the status quo for the greater good. Over the past decade, the Top50 Awards has provided a platform for women to showcase their talents, achievements and, most importantly, to inspire others.”

With over 900 past award winners locally and internationally, the ‘Top50’ Professional and Career Women Awards aims to showcase the significant role women play as leaders, employees, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders in contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the

Marking IFC’s eighth consecutive year in co-hosting the event, Alejandro Alvarez de la Campa, Country Manager for IFC Sri Lanka and Maldives said, “Unleashing the potential of people, both men and women, is the much-needed panacea for a resilient, robust recovery. This could also help the world in better dealing with future crises. For Sri Lanka, women’s socio-economic empowerment therefore remains more relevant than ever. It presents an opportunity to redress deep-seated inequities. Now is the time for less pledges, and more proactive, integrated actions to create a
future that works for everyone, built by everyone. To ensure a resilient recovery, the path should be gender inclusive – and women should be at the heart of the path to recovery.

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We need to ‘build forward fairer’ for economies and societies to build back better.”

Supported through the IFC-DFAT Women in Work programme, this year’s Top50 Awards aims to showcase the resilient leadership Sri Lankan women have shown, amidst the back-to-back twin-crises Sri Lanka recently endured.

Australia’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Paul Stephens also remarked that, “Promoting gender equality is a key priority for the Australian Government through our development programme and across everything we do here in Sri Lanka. Congratulations to all the
women who are receiving awards today. You are an inspiration and role models to many young women in Sri Lanka and encourage other women to strive for and reach great heights in their professional careers.”

With over 514 nominations, the judging, which was conducted purely based on merit, was chaired by Kasturi Chelleraja Wilson, Executive Director/Group Chief Executive Officer Hemas Holdings PLC; Dr. Mariyam Shakeela, Honorary Consul of Belgium in Maldives, former Cabinet Minister in Maldives and CEO of SIMDI; Sarah Twigg, Program Manager of Women in Work at IFC; Santosh Menon, Chairman of FCB Kl.LK; Dinesh Weerakkody, Chairman of Board of Investment of Sri Lanka; Prof. Selvaraj Oyyan Pillay, UUNIMAS Kuala Lumpur Learning Centre GIA; Dunston Pereira, CEO Private Office of HH Sheikh Ahamed bin Faisal Al Qassimi; Ngozi Oyewole, CEO of Noxie Limited and President – Women in Africa; and Gowri Rajan, Director of Sun Match Company.

Speaking of the award winners, Kasturi Chelleraja Wilson, Executive Director/Group Chief Executive Officer Hemas Holdings PLC, said “It was a privilege to Chair Judging panel of the Top50 Professional and Career Women's Awards 2023, where we were tasked at selecting 50 exceptional women from hundreds of applications across the globe. I am impressed by the winners' achievements, which demonstrate that women can excel in any field they choose. Their passion, perseverance, and dedication are an inspiration to us all. Congratulations to all the winners and it’s an honor to have been a part of the process and to have witnessed the outstanding work of these accomplished women.

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The 'Top 50' Professional and Career Women Awards 2023 was powered by, Platinum Sponsor – Robbialac, Tourism Partner – Sri Lanka conventional Bureau, Official Airline Partner – Sri Lankan Airlines, Official Destination Partner – MMPRC Visit Maldives, Personal Care Category Partner – Earth
Essence, Feminine Hygiene Partner – Fems, Sponsors – EFI (EXPO), Hayleys Agriculture, Dimo, NorthPort Logistics, McLarense Group, Aitken Spence, and Coca-Cola.

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