Marking its 11th year of honoring inspiring Sri Lankan women, Women in Management (WIM), in collaboration with Women in Work, a partnership between IFC and the government of Australia, today opened nominations for the ‘Top 50’ Professional and Career Women Awards 2021.
This will be IFC’s seventh consecutive year – fourth under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program – in co-hosting the awards, which recognizes and celebrates Sri Lankan women who have excelled in their careers, businesses, and everyday life, inspiring others.
Spanning over a decade, the ‘Top50’ Professional and Career Women Awards has recognized over 470 Sri Lankan women representing a wide array of professions, including banking and finance, hospitality, media, legal, logistics, and supply chains.
“This year, the ‘Top50’ awards will recognize resilient women leaders in chosen fields and businesses – the ones who challenged their talents and skills to reach higher in their professions amid a pandemic,” said Dr. Sulochana Segera, Founder/Chairperson at Women in Management. “During the past 10 years, through the Awards, Sri Lanka has been able to understand and accept women’s business leadership not just as a gender representation, but for its important role in promoting economic growth and social inclusion in the country.”
While COVID-19 has exacerbated gender gaps, reversing decades of gains achieved across the world, it has also highlighted the importance of strong and steady corporate leadership. As companies look forward to a resilient recovery, they increasingly recognize the need to promote women’s leadership to achieve more inclusive, productive, and profitable growth across institutional spaces.
“’Top 50′ Professional and Career Women Awards is an exemplary stage that helps bring hidden Sri Lankan talent to the fore. We have celebrated many exceptional women over the past years who were unafraid to think outside the box – which is exactly what Sri Lanka needs for a more inclusive and diverse economy,” said Sarah Twigg, Program Manager for Women in Work, IFC. “As we live through another unprecedented year with a global pandemic, it’s time to hear how Sri Lankan women persisted in the face of challenges and insisted on building a better future.”
In the course of IFC’s 50 years of operations in Sri Lanka, WIM has been a long-standing partner. Together, IFC and WIM continue to provide skills-building and training opportunities for women in senior and middle management as well as for entrepreneurs who lead, or work in, micro and small businesses in Sri Lanka. These initiatives, including the ‘Top 50’ Professional and Career Women Awards 2021, were initiated under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program.
“Australia has a strong commitment to promoting equal participation globally, particularly in the time of COVID-19. In Sri Lanka, we see our Women in Work partnership with the IFC, and the partnership with Women in Management, as key to advancing opportunities for women. This is the fourth consecutive year we are supporting ‘Top50’ Professional and Career Women Awards in highlighting the achievements of Sri Lankan women,” said Amanda Jewell, Acting Australian High Commissioner for Sri Lanka. “It is exciting to be part of the Awards judging panel alongside many high-profile judges.”
With presence in Canada and the Maldives, the ‘Top50’ Professional and Career Women Awards sets the stage for the award winners’ own career or business trajectory, and importantly, encourages many other aspiring Sri Lankan women from diverse backgrounds to explore new opportunities, propelling them to reach higher in their chosen field.
The 2021 judging panel—chaired by Nadija Tambiah, Head of Legal, Secretarial and Corporate Social Responsibility at John Keells Holdings—includes Jayanthi Dharmasena, Managing Director of Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Ltd; Kishu Gomes, Group MD/CEO of Dreamron Group of Companies; Nisthar Cassim, Founding Editor and CEO of Daily FT; Rohantha Athukorala, CEO of Clootrack Sri Lanka/Maldives & Pakistan; Sandra De Zoysa, Group Chief Customer Officer at Dialog Axiata PLC; Sandya Salgado, Strategic Marketing Professional; Santosh Menon, CEO of KL.LK; Amanda Jewell, Acting Australian High Commissioner for Sri Lanka; and Sarah Twigg, Program Manager for Women in Work at IFC.
The nominations for the Awards are open until 25 October 2021 and can be made by visiting www.womeninmanagementawards.org.