Satynmag AICPA&CIMA Women Friendly Workplace Awards 2023 launched with a Paper presented on women in the Sri Lankan workplace
Sri Lanka’s sole gender focused awards that measure the status of women in the Sri Lankan workplace, Women Friendly Workplace Awards 2023 edition, jointly presented by Satynmag.com and AICPA&CIMA, was launched formally on 01st March 2023.
The launch was marked with the presentation of a Paper on Good Practices for Women that sheds light on the Status of Women in the Sri Lankan Workplace. The Paper highlights the current level of recognition for women in the Sri Lankan work environment. Information gained through interactions with over 30 companies who employ a considerable female workforce, undertaken throughout the Awards process in 2022, was used to compile the first ever such report on the status of women in the Sri Lankan work place.
The Paper was presented by Prof. Arosha Adikaram, Chair of the Human Resources Department University of Colombo. Prof Adikaram is also the Head of the Panel of Judges of the Satynmag AICPA&CIMA Women Friendly Workplace Awards.
Satynmag AICPA&CIMA Women Friendly Workplace Awards commenced in 2021 and has been successfully recognized as the country’s only awards measuring the wellbeing and progress of women in the work environment. This is a key metric for Sri Lanka in keeping with UN SDG 05 of ensuring gender equality as a country. With over 25 leading companies taking part in the first round, last year saw even a bigger number of companies including multinationals taking part.
In her presentation of the Paper, Prof. Adikaram states that the Awards empower a process of achieving equality and equity which will result in a process of social, economic and business development. Given the fact that IWD 2023 theme is focused on Embracing Equity, this makes the proposition for women in the Sri Lankan workplace even more powerful.
“While women consist of over 52% of the population, we see a drastic decrease in the women participation in the workforce. They face numerous challenges in managing life events such as pregnancy, raising a family and child care; which calls for additional support to be made available when needed, so that the employment gap for women can be addressed .” She adds
“We were able to gain insights into Good Practices of many organizations that have chosen to extend a high level of support to the women on their teams which is commendable indeed.”
Among the women focused initiatives that were considered exceptional and hailed as innovations, were those encouraging women to take up traditionally male dominated areas such as engineering, domestic violence support mechanism, anti-sexual harassment policies, anti-harassment and bullying policies, zero tolerance policy for harassment, whistle blowing policy, grievance handling, ensuring safe and secure employment, diversity, equality and inclusion policies (DE&I Policy), speak up policy, flexi work policies, code of ethics, human rights policy and back to work support policy.
Additionally, encouraging more women to apply for positions, supporting women to aspire to senior positions, providing adequate maternity leave and flexi hours during early motherhood and creating a supportive and encouraging workplace culture were recognized as measures that assured women employees of support provided at work.
Also associated with the launch were Nayomini R Weerasooriya, Founder Editor of www.satynmag.com, Zahara Ansary, Country Manager, AICPA&CIMA in Sri Lanka, Ken Vijayakumar HR Professional & Beshan Kulapala tech entrepreneur, representing the Board of Judges – 2023 Awards.