Women in Management, IFC launch 11th Professional and Career Women Awards

Marking its 11th year of honouring inspiring Sri Lankan women, Women in Management (WIM), in collaboration with Women in Work, a partnership between IFC and the government of Australia, has 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 recognises and celebrates Sri Lankan women who have excelled in their careers, businesses, and everyday life, inspiring others.

Spanning over a decade, the Top 50 Professional and Career Women Awards has recognised 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 Top 50 awards will recognise 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 Women in Management Founder/Chairperson Dr. Sulochana Segera. “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 recognise 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 IFC Program Manager for Women in Work Sarah Twigg. “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 longstanding 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 Top 50 Professional and Career Women Awards in highlighting the achievements of Sri Lankan women,” said Acting Australian High Commissioner for Sri Lanka Amanda Jewell. “It is exciting to be part of the Awards judging panel alongside many high-profile judges.”

With presence in Canada and the Maldives, the Top 50 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 John Keells Holdings Head of Legal, Secretarial and Corporate Social Responsibility Nadija Tambiah—includes Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Ltd. Managing Director Jayanthi Dharmasena, Dreamron Group of Companies Group MD/CEO Kishu Gomes, Daily FT Founding Editor and CEO Nisthar Cassim, Clootrack Sri Lanka/Maldives and Pakistan CEO Rohantha Athukorala, Dialog Axiata PLC Group Chief Customer Officer Sandra De Zoysa, Strategic Marketing Professional Sandya Salgado, KL.LK CEO Santosh Menon, Acting Australian High Commissioner for Sri Lanka Amanda Jewell, and IFC Program Manager for Women in Work Sarah Twigg.

The nominations for the Awards are open until 25 October and can be made by visiting www.womeninmanagementawards.org.

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