Press Releases

Women in Management, IFC Launch Ninth Professional and Career Women Awards 2019

For IFC In Colombo:
Savani Jayasooriya

Phone: +94 11 5400 102


Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 04, 2019— Women in Management (WIM), in partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched the 'Top 50' Professional and Career Women Awards 2019 and started accepting nominations for them. In their ninth year, the awards recognize Sri Lankan women who excel in their careers, businesses, and everyday life, while inspiring others.
This is the fifth consecutive year that IFC will co-host the Professional and Career Women Awards with WIM. In a longstanding partnership, IFC and WIM continue to work together in Sri Lanka to provide skill-building and training opportunities for women on corporate boards and those who lead, or work in, micro and small businesses. These initiatives are part of IFC’s Women in Work program, supported by the Government of Australia.

“This year we want to showcase how instrumental women’s contributions are in ensuring sustainable growth of Sri Lanka’s economy. This year, more than any other, highlights how important it is for us to break stereotypes, overlook cultural barriers and build a more inclusive environment that helps the country rebuild and recover to reach greater heights. Each year, we at WIM are humbled by the inspirational stories from exceptional women across every level, from corporates to the grassroots, and we are thrilled to be able to award and champion the multitude of women who continue to lead the charge,” said Dr. Sulochana Segera, Founder-Chairperson of Women in Management.

Research shows that increasing women’s participation in the economy—as employees, entrepreneurs, and business leaders—boosts output and benefits 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, generating better business results.

“What started as a promising year for Sri Lanka has turned out to be amongst its most challenging. Now, more than ever before, it is vital to tap into the unrealized economic potential of our women to help drive the growth that Sri Lanka needs to rebuild. Participation of women in the economic recovery will make it both sustainable as well as inclusive,” said Amena Arif, IFC Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives. “The Professional and Career Women Awards brings to the fore the important contributions that Sri Lankan women make each day, and we are proud to partner with WIM in celebrating their achievements.”

Nominations for the awards are open till July 15, 2019. The awards ceremony will be held on September 6 at the Shangri-La, Colombo. Nominations can be made by visiting

This year’s panel of judges, chaired by Kasturi Chelleraja Wilson, Managing Director, Hemas Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd and Hemas Logistics and Maritime Cluster, includes Amena Arif, IFC Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives, Rohantha Athukorala, Country Director, Turner Investment L.P, Kumar Samarasinghe, Director, Marketing, Singer Sri Lanka, and veteran journalist Nisthar Cassim.

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.

About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

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