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The 2021 ‘Top50’ Professional and Career Women Awards – organized by Women in Management (WIM), in collaboration with Women in Work, a partnership between IFC and the Australian Government – recently recognized inspiring professional and career women in Sri Lanka and in the Maldives a mark in their respective fields.

A press release issued as part of the 11th edition of the awards ceremony said the event celebrated women representing a wide range of professions in sectors including hospitality, banking and finance, logistics and supply chains, entrepreneurship, media and law, among others, for excellence in their chosen careers or for inspiring women in their communities. The awards also recognized Sri Lankan companies that have supported the growth and empowerment of women in the workplace.

The top prizes were awarded to Dr Maheshi Ramasamy (Inspirational Professional Woman of the Year), Professor Nadira Karunaweera (Inspirational Woman of the Year), Aruni Goonetilleke (Trail Blazer), Randhula De Silva (Changer of Game of the Year) and Dr. Vajira Chithrasena (Judges Award). The full list of winners is listed below.

“The 2021 awards are a celebration of resilience, optimism, hard work and growth. As we enter a third year of the pandemic, this year’s winners remind us of the possibilities and opportunities that may exist. adversity,” said Dr. Sulochana Segera, Founder/President of Women in Management (WIM). “They also remind us of the extraordinary potential that women in Sri Lanka and the Maldives are capable of, particularly in challenging the status quo for the greater good. Women are often reluctant to take their place in the spotlight, but over the past decade, the Top50 Awards have created a platform to help them showcase their talents and accomplishments, and most importantly, inspire others.

With over 470 past winners, the “Top50” Professional and Career Women Awards aim to highlight the important role women play as leaders, employees, entrepreneurs and stakeholders in contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the country, the statement said.

To mark the seventh consecutive year that IFC has co-hosted the event, Victor Antonypillai, Acting Country Director for IFC in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, said, “To ensure a resilient recovery, the pathway must be inclusive. of gender – women must be at the heart of the journey. to recovery. We need to “build fairer” for economies and societies to build back better. Supported by the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program, this year’s Top50 Awards aim to showcase the resilient leadership that Sri Lankan women have shown, in the midst of a pandemic.

Additionally, speaking at the event, David Holly, Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, remarked that “Over the years, the ‘Top50’ awards have shown the power of women in business, inspiring many others in leadership and in society at large. The 2022 awards are a tribute to the resilience of Sri Lankan women, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. »

The 2021 ‘Top 50’ Professional and Career Women Awards were powered by Dialog, with Gold Sponsors Salota International and Singer. Silver sponsors of the awards included Lanka IOC, Unilever, Vision Care and Aitken Spence. Maliban and Sampath Bank were also event sponsors, and the donation partner for the awards ceremony was New Vivya.

Speaking about the winners, Nadija Tambiah, Head of Legal, Secretarial and Corporate Social Responsibility at John Keells Holdings and Chair of the 2021 Jury, said “the quality of the women who were nominated or applied this year was impressive. We were forced to not only examine the accomplishments of these women in their chosen vocations, but also the impact they had in the industry and what they did for women in their organizations.

This year’s jury, chaired by Nadija Tambiah, included Jayanthi Dharmasena, managing director of Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Ltd; Kishu Gomes, Managing Director/CEO of the 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 the workplace at IFC.

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