Women in Management, (Maldives Chapter) organized a Women’s Leadership Conference on the 14th of September 2017 at Hotel Jen Male’. This is the first Leadership Conference organized by WIM internationally. The objective of the conference was to share the Women’s Leadership practices of Sri Lanka with our counterparts in the Maldives.
The event signified a great milestone of achievement for WIM Sri Lanka, who after conducting an in-depth survey on women in the Maldives, decided to formulate a bilateral relationship with a strong partnership with the women leadership in the Maldives, to work on a common objective which is to create a gender equal society.
The Chapter was inaugurated this year, also to establish an international platform for career women, non-business professionals and entrepreneurs to network and discover many opportunities.
The EXCO President of the Maldives chapter, Ms. Minha Faiz said “We are very grateful that Dr. Sulochana Segera made a decision to establish a chapter in the Maldives, as through this chapter we will be able to learn and network considerably with Sri Lankan women in leadership and business, which could be considered as an unique opportunity by women in the Maldives.”
This historical event was graced by the First Lady, Madam Fathimath Ibrahim, along with Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Ms. Iruthisham Adam who represented the Maldives, while State Minister of City Planning and Water Supply, Hon. (Dr) Sudharshini Fernandopulle’, M.P who represented Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan High Commissioner, His Excellency Major General (Retd) B.R.W.M.R.A.B Thoradeniya.
The Chairperson of WIM Dr. Sulochana Segera said, “ that it was high time that Sri Lanka takes a professional Women brand to the international market, we always believed that Sri Lankan women’s leadership needs to be highlighted internationally.”
The event comprised of three segments. The first segment commenced with the WIM Maldives Chapter, in concurrence with Dr. Sulochana Segera Founder/Chairperson of Women in Management, appointing its first, Executive Committee.
The new executive committee commenced the second segment by, inviting First Lady of Maldives Fathimath Ibrahim to Honor the 3 Maldivian awardees, of the Top 50 Career Women Awards (previously held in Sri Lanka, on the 14th of July) by the First Lady at the Women’s Leadership Forum.
Just prior to the commencement of the third segment of the proceedings, the popular Maldivian band Habeys Bodhuberu delighted the audience with an outstanding cultural performance comprising Maldivian songs, drum beats and a dance routine.
The third segment commenced with the Women’s Leadership Forum session, where a few WIM top 50 Award Winners representing both, Sri Lanka and the Maldives were invited to share their thoughts on leadership and the various barriers encountered by women in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
This forum was moderated by Mrs. Dulari Fernando EXCO President Sri Lanka, who stated “I joined WIM in 2011 as an ordinary member. Today when I sat here, I realized how WIM has empowered that once, ordinary person, to be transformed into a moderator of a bilateral panel discussion, where we share our respective leadership practices”.
The Panel consisted of Ms. Dawn Austin, Managing Director, Nidro, Sri Lanka, who stated that “Having transacted business with both Sri Lanka and the Maldives for more than 45 years, and being the Chairperson of the EDB, is not about gender, but about women putting their leadership in to business. I have being doing business with Maldives almost 40 years and it is first time I am sharing details about my leadership learning in the Maldives, an Island with so much opportunities for women”.
Ms. Ramya Weerakoon, Vice President Business Development, Infotechs, Sri Lanka said “ I have been visiting the Maldives since 1994 prospecting for opportunities in Aviation, Defense & Commercial Telecommunication, Urban Development and MNDF have had the pleasure of working with extremely remarkable Maldivian women professionals such as Aminath Aathifa (MHUD), Aminath Solih (MCAA), Mariam Visam, Registrar General of Business and Aminath Eenas (HRCM) and hope to use this platform to be better networked in future”.
Ms. Aishath Rafiyya, Career Role Model 2017, at the Top 50 Women Awards representing the Maldives said “First let me thank our First Lady who is present here to support women’s leadership, she was so delighted to attend this forum just to listen to how Sri Lankan and Maldivian women speak about their leadership practices. And thank you WIM Sri Lanka for creating a platform for Maldivian women to take leadership”.