An Echelon Media Company
Tuesday April 23rd, 2024

DIMO’s Dynamic Diversity Agenda

From its humble beginnings in the automobile sphere, DIMO has evolved into a dynamic conglomerate spanning a multitude of sectors, including modern agriculture, power, energy and water, education, healthcare, industrial, building services, construction, digital, and home & garden. This transformation reflects DIMO’s commitment to diversification, sustainability, and community empowerment, shaping the future of the economy in profound ways.

At the heart of DIMO’s success lies its unwavering focus on growth that is both inclusive and sustainable. By investing in diverse industries and innovative solutions, DIMO not only expands its business horizons but also creates opportunities for local communities to thrive. Through initiatives aimed at sustainable development and resource management, DIMO ensures that its growth is aligned with environmental stewardship, making a positive impact on both present and future generations while fuelling their dreams and aspirations.

Crucially, diversity and inclusion are fundamental principles embedded within the DNA of the group. Recognizing the value of different perspectives and experiences, DIMO champions diversity in its workforce and endeavours to create an inclusive environment where every individual feels valued and empowered to contribute. This commitment extends to empowering women, challenging societal norms, and breaking down barriers that hinder progress.

Testimonials and insights from within the group underscore the significance of this mission. Women at DIMO are not merely participants but active leaders and decision-makers, driving innovation and driving positive change across all facets of the business. Their stories serve as inspirations, demonstrating the transformative power of diversity and the importance of creating opportunities for all individuals to succeed.

Inclusion: A Strategic Imperative

Ranjith Pandithage, Chairman 

At DIMO, the strategic imperative of women’s inclusion is deeply ingrained in our organizational ethos, standing as a cornerstone alongside our pursuit of excellence. As we commemorate the invaluable contributions of women worldwide, it’s paramount to recognize that fostering gender diversity transcends moral obligation—it is a strategic imperative.

We firmly grasp that diverse perspectives are the catalysts for innovation, fuelling creativity and fortifying our adaptability in an ever-evolving business landscape. Championing the inclusion of women at every echelon of our organization not only advances equality but also unleashes a trove of untapped talent and potential.

Our commitment to empowering women extends far beyond mere fulfilment of quotas; it revolves around creating an environment where every individual, regardless of gender, can flourish. From the shop floor to the boardroom, we pledge to provide equal opportunities for growth, development, and leadership.

Through nurturing a culture of inclusion, we not only attract top-tier talent but also cultivate a dynamic and resilient workforce poised to confront the challenges of tomorrow. As we celebrate the achievements of women today, let us reaffirm our dedication to forging a future where every voice resonates, and every contribution is esteemed. All this is part of our commitment and persistence in propelling positive change, empowering women, and constructing a more inclusive and equitable world for all. 

 

Fostering a Deep Commitment to Diversity

Dilrukshi Kurukulasuriya, Executive Director and CHRO 

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, the importance of promoting gender inclusivity and empowerment is more evident than ever. In my capacity at DIMO, I am fully dedicated to ensuring that the needs, interests, and aspirations of our female workforce are not only acknowledged but actively integrated into every aspect of our organizational culture and operations.

At DIMO, we firmly believe that gender diversity isn’t just morally right; it’s a strategic necessity. This belief is ingrained in our core values, particularly our commitment to “People Centricity,” and is vital for driving innovation, fostering creativity, and securing our long-term success. To this end, I have initiated various programmes aimed at fostering a workplace environment where every employee, regardless of gender, feels empowered to excel and contribute to our collective success.

A cornerstone of our approach is the implementation of gender-inclusive policies that touch every facet of our organization. Working closely with the board of directors and the General Management Committee (GMC), we have devised and put into action policies that champion gender equality in recruitment, training, promotion, and compensation. By ensuring fairness and transparency in our procedures, we establish a level playing field where all employees have equal growth opportunities.

Central to our efforts is the cultivation of a supportive work environment where women are valued, respected, and encouraged to voice their thoughts and pursue their ambitions. Through initiatives such as mentorship programmes, leadership training, and networking events tailored to the needs of female employees, we provide the necessary resources and support for their professional advancement.

Moreover, I am deeply committed to identifying and rectifying any gender pay disparities within our organization. By actively monitoring and analyzing compensation data, we guarantee that female employees receive fair and equitable pay for their contributions.

Furthermore, we understand the significance of promoting work-life balance for our female employees. Through policies such as flexible working arrangements, parental leave, and forthcoming childcare assistance, we strive to create an environment where employees can effectively manage both their personal and professional commitments without sacrificing their well-being or career progression.

Listening to the voices of our female employees is paramount in our pursuit of gender inclusivity and empowerment. Through regular engagement via surveys, focus groups, and individual meetings, we gain invaluable insights into their needs, concerns, and aspirations. These insights inform our decision-making processes, enabling us to tackle challenges and implement initiatives that resonate with our female workforce.

Finally, we make it a point to celebrate and acknowledge the accomplishments and successes of our female employees, both internally and externally. By highlighting their achievements, we not only recognize their contributions but also inspire others within the organization to strive for excellence.

Why Challenging Conventions Matter

Mahesh Karunaratne, Chief Operating Officer – After Sales

The inclusion of women in non-conventional areas like the automobile industry has significantly boosted business development and workshop performance at DIMO. By empowering women and offering them opportunities in traditionally male-dominated fields, DIMO has broadened its talent pool, bringing diverse perspectives and skills to the table.

Today, women serve as service advisers, and technicians, and handle spare part counters at our workshops. This diversity fosters innovation and problem-solving, leading to improved efficiency and productivity. Women often demonstrate strong attention to detail and a meticulous work ethic, contributing to higher-quality workmanship. Their presence also enhances teamwork and collaboration within the workshop environment, fostering a positive and inclusive workplace culture.

Furthermore, including women enhances customer satisfaction by demonstrating a commitment to diversity and inclusivity, which attracts a broader clientele that values sustainability. 

 

The Secret to Unleashing Effective Teams

Yohan Thilakaratne, General Manager – Corporate Communications

A successful workplace should balance meritocracy and inclusivity, fostering an environment that values and supports diversity. In Corporate Communications at DIMO, I’m proud to have two talented women leading crucial verticals, with the majority of the team consisting of women. As a male leader, actively supporting gender inclusion has greatly enhanced our gender-neutral communications efforts and DIMO’s overall positioning.

Understanding each team member’s dynamics and listening to their needs is crucial. Becoming a champion for their work and career aspirations is essential in fostering an inclusive environment.

Creating a safe and non-hostile workplace, ensuring fair remuneration based on contributions rather than gender bias, and addressing needs related to pregnancy and menopause are priorities. It’s important to avoid preconceived attitudes about female capabilities.

The inclusion of women is vital for our success, bringing diverse perspectives and creativity. They offer unique insights and problem-solving approaches, fostering innovation. Gender-inclusive teams make more well-rounded decisions by considering a broader range of viewpoints, leading to thorough discussions, and identifying overlooked risks and opportunities.

Ultimately, I believe the strength of my team lies in its diversity. 

 

Finding Belonging and Inspiration to Excel 

Kanchana Dilhani, Assistant Engineer – Design & Estimation (Power Panels)

Being a female engineer in Sri Lanka presents challenges, but joining DIMO, a leading conglomerate, as a design and estimation Assistant Engineer in their Power Panel Manufacturing Division is one of my greatest accomplishments. I take pride in contributing to manufacturing Low Voltage (LV) Power Distribution Boards and Motor Control Centres (MCC) for local and export markets under the renowned SIEMENS brand.

In power panel manufacturing, the size of the panel doesn’t determine the effort we put into the process. Whether small or large, delivering customer delight remains the key focus. A collaborative work culture is crucial in solving technical issues, and my team, including my immediate boss, support me daily in resolving technical challenges while sharing their knowledge and experiences across various disciplines in power panel manufacturing, exemplifying a culture that respects differences and uplifts one another to excel. 

I play a significant role in the manufacturing process by preparing comprehensive estimations with technical details for customers, leveraging my expertise in engineering. Despite being a woman and relatively new to the company, I feel valued when my team considers my ideas and suggestions during the power panel designing process. This collaborative approach enables me to complete my tasks on time, ensuring ultimate customer satisfaction.

I deeply appreciate the professionalism and joyful work culture embedded in DIMO’s culture, which motivates me to strive for excellence continually. 

 

High Performance: Women in Power Engineering

Vibhanu Arachchige, Senior Manager-Power Projects and Development

In 2020, DIMO faced a unique challenge with our first microgrid project, which was also the country’s first—a technically complex undertaking. We appointed a talented female engineer as the project lead, who later informed us of her pregnancy. Despite being excited about impending parenthood, she remained committed to her role and understood the criticality of the project.

We recognized her dedication and talent and offered her flexible work arrangements, which she readily embraced. Throughout her pregnancy, she worked tirelessly, even proactively training an intern to ensure project continuity during her absence from maternity leave.

Upon her return, she demonstrated renewed commitment, readily redeploying herself on-site. Despite needing to balance childcare responsibilities, she actively led and mentored a team of interns and engineers, exceeding client expectations and completing Sri Lanka’s first comprehensive grid-tied renewable energy microgrid project at the University of Moratuwa (UOM) within the stipulated timeline.

This story underscores the remarkable capabilities and dedication of female engineers. DIMO’s trust in her allowed her to excel, even amidst personal challenges, leading to a mutually beneficial outcome. By fostering an inclusive and supportive environment, we empower not only our female employees but also contribute to their success and the company’s overall growth. 

 

Encouraging Females to Take on Roles in STEM Fields

Vimukthi Randeny, Senior Manager – DIMO Academy

Encouraging females to pursue STEM careers not only expands employment opportunities but also breaks down gender and social barriers while fostering creativity in industries. With 51% of Sri Lanka’s population being women, organizations like DIMO play a crucial role in promoting diversity and inclusion.

DIMO’s commitment to fostering inclusivity is evident through DIMO Academy’s initiatives. Tailored training programmes, mentorship initiatives, scholarships, and partnerships with educational institutions aim to change public perception of women’s participation in STEM professions. These efforts not only enhance women’s inclusion within DIMO but also empower them to excel in non-conventional sectors like automobile and plant engineering.

By embracing and supporting women in STEM, DIMO sets a commendable example for fostering diversity and inclusion in the industry. Gender diversity isn’t just about social justice—it brings together diverse viewpoints and ideas, leading to more innovative solutions. Thus, diversity is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage for organizations and nations alike. 

 

Breaking Barriers with Every Step

Yenaya Thenuwara, Trainee -DIMO Academy 

My fascination with cars and the mechanics world ignited when I witnessed skilled technicians diligently working with those beautiful tools and machines at my father’s vehicle service centre. From that moment on, I knew my future lay in working with vehicles.

As I grew older, I made a conscious decision to pursue my dream career in automobiles. Fate led me to DIMO Academy during my search for the perfect technician school. Today, I am pursuing a Diploma in Automobile Mechatronics at DIMO Academy.

DIMO Academy not only equipped me with the necessary skills but also introduced me to a community of like-minded individuals who shared my passion and dreams. What impressed me most was its inclusive environment, particularly for girls like me. It was a place where we could learn without feeling insecure, make new friends, and even enhance our language skills while studying subjects like HR management, Marketing, Finance, and local labour law, which helped us develop entrepreneurial skills.

In this field, rough hands, stained clothes, and grease under my nails are badges of honour. The automobile field isn’t just for boys; girls, like myself, can achieve great things with confidence and determination.

With every step, I’m breaking stereotypes and proving that passion and hard work know no gender boundaries. For any girl with similar dreams, I recommend DIMO Academy—a place where ambitions are nurtured, skills are honed, and dreams become reality.