Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce conducts 34th AGM | Daily News

Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce conducts 34th AGM

Newly elected WCIC Board Members - 2019/2020 Seated Left to Right: Sonali De Silva (Treasurer), Zahra Cader (Joint Secretary), Indrani Fernando (1st Vice Chairperson), Chathruri Ranasinghe (Chairperson), Illanga Karunaratne (2nd Vice Chairperson), Ramani Ponnambalam  (Joint Secretary), Janaki Perera (Assistant Treasurer). Standing from Left to Right: Board members; Samitha H Perera, Ashanti Fernando, Anoji de Silva, Sarrah Sammoon, Subathra Ramamoorthy, Nayana Karunaratne, Tehani Mathew and Gayani de Alwis.
Newly elected WCIC Board Members - 2019/2020 Seated Left to Right: Sonali De Silva (Treasurer), Zahra Cader (Joint Secretary), Indrani Fernando (1st Vice Chairperson), Chathruri Ranasinghe (Chairperson), Illanga Karunaratne (2nd Vice Chairperson), Ramani

The premier Chamber dedicated to support Women Entrepreneurs and professionals, concluded their traditional AGM on the September 24, at Hotel Galadari. Established in 1985 as the first women only chamber by a team of visionary females, the Organization today, has grown in stature, width and contribution. Several founder members, many past Chairpersons, the Board of Management and members graced the AGM.

Ambassador for Netherlands in Sri Lanka Tanja Gonggrip, was Chief Guest and during her speech, she congratulated WCIC for their tireless efforts during the past 35 years, developing women entrepreneurship and enabling them to contribute to the economic growth. She stressed the importance of Sustainable Developments Goals (SDG) and the need to tackle issues of poverty, inequality, climate change, clean water, biodiversity and education. She further went on to say that Sri Lanka is the second most vulnerable country to climate change in the world.

“You have a direct stake and I ask you to play your role and take responsibility in this endeavor. As professionals, you could help in reaching these goals by being aware of how your company or organization could mitigate the negative environmental effects, or even make a positive contribution and how your company or organization takes care of its employees and contribute to their well being. In the short term, this takes extra time, energy and often money, but in the long run, this would pay off. A happy workforce is more productive, creative and dedicated. Saving energy and water, would cut costs. Moreover, this is where the real long-term vision comes in; you would be a reliable partner to Western companies and brands. The Government and civil society to make their value chain more sustainable and to know whom they source from and under which circumstances pressure them. If you show that you are producing, manufacturing and doing business up to the SDG standards, then, you could become the preferred sustainable choice for Dutch and other Western trading partners and investors,” she said.

Chathuri Ranasinghe was elected as Chairperson for the her third term, while Indrani Fernando and Illanga Karunaratne, were elected as 1st and 2nd Vice Chairpersons respectively. Joint Secretaries elected were Ramani Ponnambalam and Zahra Cader, while Sonali de Silva and Janaki Perera were elected as Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer respectively.

The other Board members were, Ashanti Fernando, Tehani Mathew, Gayani de Alwis, Nayana Karunaratne, Samitha H Perera, Mrs. Sarah Sammoon, Manoji de Silva and Subathra Ramamoorthy.

Chairperson of WCIC, Chaturi Ranasinge stated, ” We are a non profit organization of women in business and professions working together as a think tank, a voice and a platform to economically empower the women of Sri Lanka to be powerful nation builders by participating in transforming the economic growth of the nation.” She touched on the extensive work conducted by WCIC and its members, during the year under review, to facilitate extensive capacity building across Sri Lanka, supporting many entrepreneurs.

Stressing on plans for the future, she stated, “ We have embarked on a very important exercise with the support of all stakeholders. We deliberated on our purpose of existence, validated our mission and vision statements, included a set of core values. The most important part of this exercise was the creation of a Strategic Plan for the organization, with clearly defined action, under 5 key pillars that would support our future journey. We are planning to create an even greater impact in society with what we do and help women in general, to achieve their true potential as entrepreneurs and professional business women,” adding further she stated, “Women need support in many areas and we as the Chamber that understands the need, wish to champion this.

We are also very keen to get the involvement of the many young entrepreneurs who are venturing into businesses, by the use of technology and innovative spirit. We invite them to join the Chamber to obtain the support provided. What we do and achieve is possible only due to dedication and the commitment of our outstanding team of members, who are dedicated to take this organization to even greater heights during the year ahead.”

The Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce is the premier organization supporting Entrepreneurs and Professional businesswomen. With a well-structured Board of Management and Pillar teams and Leaders with dedicated responsibility, the Organization focuses on achieving its detailed objectives with a clearly defined strategic plan, as well as a plan for action. The membership is open to women who believe they can contribute to society as well as benefit from the many facilities the organization creates.

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