WIM celebrates its decade of work in Sri Lanka

Women in Management celebrated its 10th anniversary under the theme "Creating Impact".

WIM ExCo Secretary Kushlani Perera said, "It is a decade long journey. WIM has brought change to women networking and women’s empowerment. WIM became the role model for many women’s organizations in Sri Lanka. Within a decade of passionate work, WIM has been able to make a positive change in attitudes and mindsets of men and women in this country."

Nilam Samsudeen, Director Administration at WIM said, "We strongly believe that gender equality is not only about women, it is also about men and women having their own space to enjoy the benefits of being human in spite of their gender."

Under the theme of "Creating Impact", for the first time WIM conducted a forum in Sinhala in the corporate sector. The topic was "Navigating the glass cliff", which was moderated by Dr. Sulochana Segera and the panelists were Anusha Koddithuwakku, Sri Lanka female boxer and WIM Top50 Award Winner in the Sports Category 2018 and Nalani Kumari Dissanayake, WIP Criminal Investigation Department, who was the WIM Top50 Award Winner in the Defense and Civil Category 2019.

WIM ExCo Member Summaiya Macan Mackar said, "Our founder Dr. Segera, who believed that women should have equal opportunities despite of their race, religion, cast, marital status, etc., ensured WIM opens doors for women to receive membership and be comfortable with their own selves while being professional. It was one of the values that WIM practiced."

Expressing her thoughts as WIM celebrates a decade in service, Dr. Sulochana Segera, Chairperson of WIM said, "We cannot be the change maker if we do not embrace the millennials and the men in our journey. As a mother, I believe our sons and daughters should receive equal opportunities in the personal, career and social space. It is also time that we stop the blame game and start including men in our programs. Men are not the enemies of our journey. They are supporters. To change the stereotype we started including millennial discussions and male only panels to speak on women in business and their career obstacles. To press on that while we celebrated our 10th year, we had a Millennial Fashion Show, couture by Buddhi Battiks, while British Cosmetics sponsored the hair and make-up. We also had a Men in Management forum moderated by Lopa Rahaman, Corporate Governance Officer, South Asia IFC, with the participation of DIG Ajith Rohana, Preethi Jayawardena, Vice Chairman, Commercial Bank, Suresh K Shah, MD, Lion Brewery, Shalin Balasuriya, Co-Founder, Spa Ceylon, and Magala Yapa, Chairman, BOI."

Vijitha Samarakkodige, WIM ExCo Treasurer explained that WIM is an organization for women to learn about leadership and team work. She stressed that WIM practiced values than rules. "Rules are to be broken but values are to be carried with pride. We practice leadership with our projects and work. We are allowed to learn and opportunities are given to everyone."

One of the key highlights in the celebration was the "Real Women" Fashion Show which saw the participation of six WIM Top50 corporate leaders. Aruni Rajakaruna, Anoji de Silva, Anusha David, Shankia Ranaweera, Gayani De Alwis, and Dhashma Karunarathna walked the ramp wearing designs by Buddhi Batiks, while hair and make-up was done by British Cosmetics.

In conclusion of the celebratory events, Shanika Ranaweera, WIM Past ExCo President and one of the models at the WIM Fashion Show said, "We are mentored to brand ourselves for us to lead our own careers and businesses. We were told many time by our Chairperson that Designations retire, but not your personal brand and that It is you who can put an expiry date to your own brand."

Creating Impact was held on 4th October 2019 at Shangri-La Hotel Colombo in partnership with IFC and the Government of Australia.