Not enough women in Sri Lankan boardrooms

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka still does not have enough women on company boards of directors despite their high level of participation in public service and academia.

The lack of female representation in leadership roles in the corporate sector was pointed out by Ramani Muttettuwegama, Senior Partner at Tiruchelvam Associates at the Colombo Stock Exchange’s ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’ event.

She urged corporates to empower and recognize women for their contribution, according to a CSE statement.

 “It should be a matter of great concern that the corporate sector lags so far behind – given that there is absolutely no block to women participating in this sector and moving upwards,” Muttettuwegama said.

Sri Lanka is a country where over the last few years women have begun to be appointed to the Supreme Court, the public service is dominated by women and the academia is, almost all-over Sri Lanka, completely dominated by women, she said. 

The event was part of a global call to action for businesses around the world to advance women’s empowerment and gender equality.

The CSE has joined the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors, IFC – a member of the World Bank Group, UN Global Compact, UN Women, the World Federation of Exchanges, Women in ETFs and the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative.

“These bell-ringing events are taking place in exchanges around the world to highlight the pivotal role of the private sector in empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community,” the statement said.

Vajira Kulatilaka, Chairman of CSE, said gender equality is essential for a high-performing and talent-led organization.

“We believe that enabling the potential of women is central to ensuring sustainable and inclusive development, both in business and the community.”

Shiromal Cooray, Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors, said that throughout the year they will be conducting a series of programs focused on empowerment for women in the workplace with special focus given to women on Boards.

“Paving the way for women to embrace leadership roles in the corporate world and discussing the issues faced by women in leadership are key objectives of these programs.”