Monday, 7 October 2013 00:00
The Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT) forum of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Sri Lanka (CILTSL) recently held its inaugural Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the auditorium of the National Chamber of Commerce marking a momentous day.
The AGM witnessed the first WiLAT Executive committee being formed and Gayani de Alwis was elected as the Chairperson. Anoma Ranasinghe, Kamanie Ekanayake and Sadna Dissanayake were elected as Vice Chairpersons while Maritana Chelliah and Gayathri Karunanayake were elected as Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
Sri Lanka is aspiring to become a logistic hub by 2020. Although the female population outnumbers the male population in the country, female representation in the logistics and transport industry is still very low, mainly due to lack of awareness of the career opportunities available in different sectors of the industry.
Improving gender balance will help to bring in diverse views and ideas for value creation in the sector. Currently only 12% of the CILT SL membership is female out of a 1000+ membership population.
With this in mind, CILT SL launched its WiLAT SL forum on 21 March 2013 at The Kingsbury. WiLAT global community was launched on 3 June 2013 during the CILT international convention held in Sri Lanka under the patronage of CILT President Dr. Dorothy Chan, who is incidentally the first female to hold the Presidency of CILT.
Globally WiLAT fora have been formed in Nigeria, South Africa, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Middle East, Uganda and in Sri Lanka. At this meeting Aisha Ali Ibrahim of Nigeria was appointed as the global WiLAT Coordinator while Saliya Senanayake, Past President of CILT SL, was appointed as the International Vice President in-charge of the WiLAT global forum.
In her address at the AGM, Gayani mentioned that the mission of WiLAT is to provide a forum for women engaged in the industry to network and provide opportunities for career advancement and to empower them to become leading professionals in the industry. She also highlighted that their goals are to create awareness on career opportunities in the industry, provide access to information sources on continuous professional development, provide networking opportunities to share best practises, provide training and mentoring opportunities to make a positive contribution, continuously develop and nurture a talent pipeline for the industry and to drive change in industry through diversity.
WiLAT membership is open to all women working in public and private sector and in academia in the areas of logistics, transport, supply chain and supporting functions in organisations. The WiLAT SL forum is expected to provide a platform for women engaged in the industry to maximise their true potential both professionally and personally.