Wednesday, 6 May 2015 01:06
Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT) Sri Lanka Forum held its AGM on 30 April at the National Chamber of Commerce Auditorium amidst a large gathering, the highest ever recorded in an AGM for WiLAT. Founding Chairperson Gayani de Alwis was re-elected as the Chairperson for the second term. The two of the three Vice Chairpersons, Anoma Ranasinghe and Kamanie Ekanayake and the Treasurer Gayathri Karunanayaka too were reelected. Niroza GazzaIi and Priyangani Jayasundara were elected as a Vice Chairperson and Secretary respectively.
The key feature of the newly elected council for 2015 is the presence of women from all sectors (aviation, maritime, road transport and supply chain) of the logistics and transport industry and the academic institutions. WiLAT is the womenâs body of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and is one of the live wires. Since its formation in 2013, WiLAT plays an active role in promoting gender diversity in the industry through value adding activities.
Chairperson Gayani in her AGM address spoke about various activities that WiLAT conducted in the past one year. She thanked the outgoing Executive Committee for their support in WiLATâs two year journey.
She mentioned that women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. No country can boast of its economic progress by leaving half of its population behind. In Sri Lanka, women population outnumbers men and the economy is powered by women in tea, and apparel industries and by migrant workers. Unfortunately, all these jobs are at the lower rung of the career hierarchy she said.
âWomen representation in logistics and transport industry is still at a very low 12%, primarily due to lack of awareness on career opportunities in different sectors of the industry. In CILT too it is the same story at 12%. But the good news is that, at this yearâs CILT AGM, six women got elected to add colour to the CILT Executive committee, which is very encouraging indeed. Very few women have shattered the so called glass ceiling in logistics and transport industry. The aim of WiLAT is to inspire women to break the barriers and reach the top. To support this endeavour, WiLAT launched its flagship âigniteâ mentoring program in November 2014. There was an overwhelming response from both the mentors and mentees and we are encouraged by the enthusiasm. This initiative of WiLAT Sri Lanka was commended by CILT International President Dr. Dorothy Chan, who inaugurated the event as a pioneering effort,â she added.
Gayani said 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 women to become leading professionals in the industry. She also highlighted that WiLATâs 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 practices, 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.
Chairperson also stressed the importance of collaborating with other womenâs bodies and carry out joint activities this year to derive synergies and achieve the common objective to increase gender diversity to create value for the respective professions. Continuous professional development will be a top priority for WiLAT this year and she assured the membership that it will be focused with vigour.
The main objective of WiLAT is to promote and encourage the art and science of logistics and transport. WiLAT is part of an ever expanding global network within CILT. Global launch of WiLAT was held on 3rd June 2013 in Sri Lanka during the CILT international convention. Currently WiLAT is present in 17 countries with over 1800 members in the global network which is expanding rapidly. WiLAT Sri Lanka is one of the five pioneering fora of the global network and was established on 21 March 2013.