May 22, 2018

Career Women Awards 2018 to be held again

Women in Management (WIM) and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, are inviting nominations for the 'Top 50' Professional and Career Women Awards 2018. Now in its eighth edition, these awards recognize Sri Lankan women who excel in their careers, businesses and everyday life, while also inspiring others.

This is the fourth consecutive year that IFC will partner with WIM to host the Professional and Career Women Awards. IFC and WIM are working together in Sri Lanka to provide skill-building and training opportunities for women on corporate boards and who lead, or work in, micro and small businesses. These initiatives are part of IFC’s Women in Work program implemented with the support of the Government of Australia.                                                             

Dr. Sulochana Segera, Founder/Chairperson of Women in Management, said, “I believe that we have already achieved this year’s theme of Taking Sri Lankan Women to the World with the launch of the first WIM Professional and Career Women Awards in Canada earlier this year, to award exceptional Sri Lankan-origin women in Canada. For the past 7 years, WIM has consistently identified and recognized exceptional women leaders across every level, from corporates to the grassroots, and we are thrilled to congratulate the multitude of our awardees who continue to lead the charge and progress in their careers. As the Founder of WIM, I am delighted that we have become an organization that is taking Sri Lankan women to the world.”

Research shows that increasing women’s participation in the economy—as employees, entrepreneurs, and business leaders—would boost economic output and benefit generations to come. The DFAT-IFC Women in Work program aims to provide Sri Lankan businesses with strategies and tools to create more and better private-sector employment and business opportunities for women, thereby generating better business results.                                                                                                                                                                             
“Surprisingly, only one in three women participate in Sri Lanka’s formal labor force. Increasing female participation will be critical for economic growth. IFC’s Women in Work program aims to create opportunities and environments to allow for increased participation for women,” said Amena Arif, Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives, IFC. “Strong partnerships enable IFC to deliver on this goal, and we are pleased to partner with WIM in celebrating the achievements of remarkable Sri Lankan women.”

Nominations for these prestigious awards are open till June 15, 2018. The awards ceremony itself will be held on August 7, at the Hilton Hotel, Colombo. Last year, around 100 women received the awards for achievements across multiple categories. Nominations can be made by visiting This year’s award has a new feature built in to the nomination process, which aims to capture important private sector workforce data, which will help companies benchmark themselves and measure progress – including on women’s leadership.

2018 Judging Panel member, and Award Winner in 2017, Roshanie Jayasundera-Moraes, Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer - Property Group, John Keells Holdings, said, “Awards are good as long as they benefit a greater cause. For me, the award was a way of showing younger women that anything is possible. It encouraged me to reach out to other women who needed help, or wanted someone to talk to and relate to. As such, I am honored to serve on the panel of judges this year and I look forward to helping and contributing towards recognizing some super talent. WIM has not only been instrumental in recognizing women, but has also assisted and coached female entrepreneurs and leaders to reach their full potential.”

This year’s judging panel also includes Panel Chairman Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, Country Director, Turner Investment L.P; Amena Arif, IFC Country Manager for Sri Lanka & Maldives; Kumar Samarasinghe, Director - Marketing, Singer Sri Lanka; Rajitha Jayasuriya, Group Director – Legal, MAS Holdings; veteran journalist Nisthar Cassim; Gowri Rajan, Executive Director/CMO, Sun Match Company; and Dilruskhi Dias Wickaramasinghe PC, Attorney General’s Department.

“This will be the first year that WIM will hold a separate mini award in the Maldives, from which winners will be nominated to 8th ‘Top 50’ Professional and Career Women Awards Sri Lanka 2018. The Awards in Maldives will be held on July 14, 2018. Nominations will open separately for Maldivians and a separate judging panel that includes Maldivians as well as Sri Lankans will judge candidates. We are thrilled to announce that Maldives WIM awards will consist of areas not touched upon in Maldives before. I personally believe that these awards will open up many opportunities for very talented women in my country, to be able to represent themselves and be appreciated for their hard work in their respective industries,” said Minha Faiz, President, Executive Committee, Women In Management Maldives.

The private sector is increasingly recognizing that advancing gender equality through business operations and value chains means better talent, higher productivity, more customers, and a stronger bottom-line. However, there is still a long way to go. IFC believes that women—as consumers, employees, business leaders, and entrepreneurs—have the potential to transform the global economy, supporting job creation, raising per-capita incomes, and promoting sustainable development. IFC works with companies in developing countries to generate opportunities for women while contributing to companies’ bottom-lines, productivity, and growth.