All causes need their champions, and a company’s commitment to create change is no different – champions are needed to provide leadership, to provide guidance, to be the example, to be the voice.
When we talk about AIA Insurance’s commitment to Gender Equality in the Workplace Chathuri Munaweera (Director and Chief Officer- Legal, Governance and Operations) is one such champion. We are thrilled to see her recognized as such not only by her colleagues at AIA Insurance but by the IFC-DFAT SheWorks program who recently recognized Chathuri as one of the 16 trailblazers who are driving gender equality across Sri Lanka.
This recognition was made at the launch of the #TogetherWeCan campaign which amplifies the 16 company business cases for more diverse and equal workplaces and paves the way forward for the rest of the private sector to enhance employment and career progression opportunities for women.
Launched in March 2018, the SheWorks Sri Lanka partnership is a collaboration of 18 leading Sri Lankan companies across a range of sectors committed to implementing business solutions that help boost the quality and quantity of jobs for women in the private sector. In the two years since its inception, the program is estimated to have touched the lives of over 170,000 employees by creating more equal and respectful workplaces.
Speaking of her experience and work within AIA Insurance in regards to gender equality Chathuri says, “Gender parity is central in having a dynamic balanced workforce. Female employees and Wealth Planners play an integral part in our business success. AIA Insurance recognised early on, the narrowing trends of female participation at work and took many sustainable steps over the years to ensure that our female colleagues have a work environment that provides leverage and flexibility to arrange work within family circumstances, at times of life where such support is needed most. It is not just about fixing the basics and having the best of support during key stages of motherhood, but also ensuring that there is room to grow in careers whether in sales or in support functions.”
The next steps the journey to promoting Gender Equality in the private sector Sri Lanka comes with the publishing of the business case results from this two year program involving 16 organisations with the aim of creating a roadmap and highlighting successes that other businesses can learn from and implement.
Examples from AIA Insurance Sri Lanka include enhanced women's participation in leadership positions via mentoring and building succession pipelines. ‘Propelling Ideas’, a leadership learning programme that helped nurture six women leaders for future succession, while increasing the number of women’s representation to 29 percent in the top management tier. The introduction of 100-day maternity leave amongst other family-friendly benefits has seen amazing results with 3 out of 4 mothers to returning to work.
At AIA Insurance our work is not done yet, and our champions will certainly continue to lead the way for change. We look forward to learning more from the business cases of the other 15 companies that have participated in the SheWorks Sri Lanka Partnership, and we encourage every person reading this to join us in driving change and creating opportunities that will help all businesses and all people in Sri Lanka to flourish.
Join the Campaign: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TogetherWeCanCampaign
Download the Book: https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/e3a183cc-eb8f-4de1-b123-634091d730dd/Together+We+Can.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=n2ZRjI0
See the Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlMDI-fX4mw