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About Us

About Us

#ABOUT US

#ABOUT US

The Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce is governed by the Chairperson and the Board of Management, who are appointed according to the constitution.

Our Vision

To be the “think tank”, “voice” and the “platform” empowering women to be powerful nation builders, by participating in transforming the economic growth of the nation.

Our Mission

Shape the future of women, in Sri Lanka, by providing opportunities for business and professional development, fostering valuable connections, nurturing and empowering to reach their fullest potential, facilitating member success.

Our Core Values

  • Diverse & Inclusive
  • Dynamic & Relevant
  • Can do Attitude
  • Ethical & Sustainable

Objectives

With the clearly articulated objectives of delivering on our fundamentals our objectives are clear.

  1. Ensure we represent the majority of the females of this country, and the group currently involved in entrepreneurial efforts and professional careers, whenever representation is required and lobbying has to be done to create a just policy framework.
  2. Actively engage in meaningful, sustainable capacity building activity for women entrepreneurs and women professionals.
  3. Create opportunity for member development, engagement, and networking.
  4. Build the brand of “WCIC” in a meaningful consistent manner.
  5. Create a framework of ethical and accountable finance and governance framework.

#THE GOVERNING BODY

#THE GOVERNING BODY

THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE WCIC 2023-2024

THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE WCIC 2023-2024

Executive Committee

Executive Committee

#History

Ms. Yasmin Anoji De Silva

Chairperson
Partner Ernst & Young Sri Lanka.
Institute of Chartered Accountants.
SAARC Region

Mrs. Gayani de Alwis

1st Vice Chairperson
Independent Non-Executive Director Singer Sri Lanka
Director Logicare Pvt LTD
Immediate Past Global WiLAT Chairperson
Past President CILT
Management Consultant & Lecturer

Mrs. Ramani Ponnambalam

2nd Vice Chairperson
Co-Leader - Governance & Finance Pillar
Managing Director–Macbertan (Pvt) Ltd [McLarens Group]
Non-Executive Independent Director & Audit Committee Member–Kingsbury PLC & Hayleys Leisure PLC
Director – Pidilite Lanka (Pvt) Ltd
Founding Member–Commonwealth Business Women (Sri Lanka) Leadership Group

Ms. Tusitha Kumarakulasingham

Joint Secretary
Leader - Policy Advocacy Pillar
Founder/Chief Consultant-Z Consultancy
Transformation Catalyst for Businesses and Individuals
Trainer/Mentor engaged in Human Resource Development
Business Strategist
Research Consultant/ Marketing & Communication Consultant

Ms. Nilani Seneviratne

Joint Secretary
Country Head of Operations HSBC - Sri Lanka & Maldives
Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner
Global Goodwill Ambassador

Ms. Ashanti Fernando

Treasurer
Senior Manager - Corporate Banking - Union Bank of Colombo PLC
Seylan Bank PLC

Ms. Sonali De Silva

Assistant Treasurer Leader - Membership Development Pillar
Executive Director Alliance Agencies Ltd
Alliance Graphic Services (Pvt) Ltd
Heshia Shipping (Pvt) Ltd
Vice-President of the Alliance Provident Fund

Ms. Yasmin Anoji De Silva

Chairperson
Partner Ernst & Young Sri Lanka.
Institute of Chartered Accountants.
SAARC Region

Mrs. Gayani de Alwis

1st Vice Chairperson
Independent Non-Executive Director Singer Sri Lanka
Director Logicare Pvt LTD
Immediate Past Global WiLAT Chairperson
Past President CILT
Management Consultant & Lecturer

Mrs. Ramani Ponnambalam

2nd Vice Chairperson
Co-Leader - Governance & Finance Pillar
Managing Director–Macbertan (Pvt) Ltd [McLarens Group]
Non-Executive Independent Director & Audit Committee Member–Kingsbury PLC & Hayleys Leisure PLC
Director – Pidilite Lanka (Pvt) Ltd
Founding Member–Commonwealth Business Women (Sri Lanka) Leadership Group

Ms. Tusitha Kumarakulasingham

Joint Secretary
Leader - Policy Advocacy Pillar
Founder/Chief Consultant-Z Consultancy
Transformation Catalyst for Businesses and Individuals
Trainer/Mentor engaged in Human Resource Development
Business Strategist
Research Consultant/ Marketing & Communication Consultant

Ms. Nilani Seneviratne

Joint Secretary
Country Head of Operations HSBC - Sri Lanka & Maldives
Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner
Global Goodwill Ambassador

Ms. Ashanti Fernando

Treasurer
Senior Manager - Corporate Banking - Union Bank of Colombo PLC
Seylan Bank PLC

Ms. Sonali De Silva

Assistant Treasurer Leader - Membership Development Pillar
Executive Director Alliance Agencies Ltd
Alliance Graphic Services (Pvt) Ltd
Heshia Shipping (Pvt) Ltd
Vice-President of the Alliance Provident Fund

Board Members

Board Members

Ms. Renuka Senanayake

Board Member
Partner/Chartered Accountant
Tudor V Perera & Company

Ms. Nayana Karunaratne

Board Member
Leader - Capacity Building Pillar
Chairman/Managing Director: Salon Nayana Image Consultants

Ms. Oshadhi Karunaratne

Board Member
Leader - Visibility Pillar
Brand Manager & Head of Product Development - Imperial Tea Exports (Pvt) Ltd

Ms. Krishnajina Rajapathirane

Board Member
Founder, Director, and Software Architect of Cyber Concepts (Pvt) Ltd.

Ms. Chiranthi Cooray

(FCMA, CGMA)
Board Member
Banking | Insurance | People | ESG | Sustainable Financing | Climate Action | Digital Transformation | Women Entrepreneurship

Ms. Fathima Zahara Ansary

Board Member
Country Manager - AICPA & CIMA Sri Lanka & Maldives

Vlr. Wathsala Wickramanayake

(MRICS)
Board Member
Chartered Valuation Surveyor
Managing Directress WikiFrank Chartered Valuers
Global Ambassador LionHeart RICS
RICS APC Assessor and Counselor

Ms. Renuka Senanayake

Board Member
Partner/Chartered Accountant
Tudor V Perera & Company

Ms. Nayana Karunaratne

Board Member
Leader - Capacity Building Pillar
Chairman/Managing Director: Salon Nayana Image Consultants

Ms. Oshadhi Karunaratne

Board Member
Leader - Visibility Pillar
Brand Manager & Head of Product Development - Imperial Tea Exports (Pvt) Ltd

Ms. Krishnajina Rajapathirane

Board Member
Founder, Director, and Software Architect of Cyber Concepts (Pvt) Ltd.

Ms. Chiranthi Cooray

(FCMA, CGMA)
Board Member
Banking | Insurance | People | ESG | Sustainable Financing | Climate Action | Digital Transformation | Women Entrepreneurship

Ms. Fathima Zahara Ansary

Board Member
Country Manager - AICPA & CIMA Sri Lanka & Maldives

Vlr. Wathsala Wickramanayake

(MRICS)
Board Member
Chartered Valuation Surveyor
Managing Directress WikiFrank Chartered Valuers
Global Ambassador LionHeart RICS
RICS APC Assessor and Counselor

#Pillar Structure

#Pillar Structure

Governance & Finance Pillar

To ensure robust policies and guidelines are adopted to steer long term growth for WCIC by ensuring financial sustainability and discipline to achieve

Leaders

  • Renuka Senanayake
  • Ramani Ponnambalam

Team Members

  • Anoji De Silva
  • Gayani De Alwis
  • Chithranjali Dissanayaka

Policy Advocacy Pillar

Lobby government and private sector decision makers/stakeholders to create a direction, enabling environment for women to grow and thrive in business, backed by supporting information.

Leader

  • Tusitha Kumarakulasingham

Team Members

  • Sarrah Sammoon
  • Eranthi Premarathna
  • Marini De Livera
  • Naushalya Rajapakse

Membership Development & Services Pillar

Awareness, Attraction, Retention

To create awareness among professional and business women with a view to attract them by offering value adding benefits, regular engagements and retaining them with relevant activity and recognition.

Leader

  • Sonali de Silva

Team Members

  • Nilani Seneviratne
  • Krishnajina Rajapathirane
  • Zahara Ansary

Capacity Building Pillar

To enhance skills, knowledge, tools & equipment and resources in promoting the role of women in business and professional services including WCIC members.

Leader

  • Nayana Karunaratne

Team Members

  • Tusitha Kumarakulasingham
  • Ashanti Motha
  • Janaki Perera

Visibility Pillar

To define own brand identity to make it more relevant to the membership while ensuring top of mind brand recall and close engagement with all stakeholders through effective communication to promote WCIC brand.

Leader

  • Oshadi Karunaratne

Team Members

  • Gayani De Alwis
  • Tusitha Kumarakulasingham
  • Nilani Seneviratne

WCIC is said to be the first women-only trade chamber to be set up anywhere in the world. The Founder Chairperson was Chloe de Soysa.

WCIC, founded in1985 is considered the first women-only trade chamber to be set up anywhere in the world. The Founder Chairperson was Chloe de Soysa.The WCIC’s priority was to harness women’s economic power in the country gaining recognition and improving their lives while stimulating the socio-economic growth.

In its history, WCIC has to its credit many innovative projects such as the Agromart Foundation, Training Course for Women Migrant Workers, Poverty Alleviation Through Entrepreneurship Development, SAARC Chamber Women Entrepreneur Council, South Asian Women’s Economic Network which links leading women’s organizations in South Asia, the Women’s Entrepreneur Awards, Capacity Building Workshops, Financial Literary Programs, Women in Business Trade Fairs, Business English, Empowering War Widows through Chick Farming , Micro Credit Projects, Empowering differently-abled women through training in beauty culture among several others.

WCIC is aligned to organizations such as Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and NCE, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Labour Relations & Foreign Employment, Ministry of Industries, Export Development Board, Sri Lanka Customs, Employer’s Federation of Ceylon, Society for Corporate Social Responsibility, International Labour Organization (ILO), Project SMED, Sri Lanka Business Development Centre (SLBDC), Sri Lanka National Arbitration Centre, etc.

WCIC, founded in1985 is considered the first women-only trade chamber to be set up anywhere in the world. The Founder Chairperson was Chloe de Soysa.The WCIC’s priority was to harness women’s economic power in the country gaining recognition and improving their lives while stimulating the socio-economic growth.

Founder Members

First Governing Board - 1985

  • Chloe de Soysa
  • Beula Munasinghe
  • Karuna de Silva
  • Lakshmi S Wijeratne
  • Carmel Goonathilleke
  • Maya Senanayake
  • Priyani Tennekoon
  • Ranjanie Manuelpillai
  • Nirmala de Mel
  • Ms. Lakshmi G.Perera

Original Founder Members whose financial contribution as membership fee enabled the WCIC to set up a fund which was then supported by Asia Foundation & United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

  • Joan Forbes
  • Mano Muthukrishna
  • Ramola Sivasundaram
  • Janet Balasuriya
  • Nalini Ellawala
  • Barbara Sansoni
  • Nayomi Fernando
  • Chandra Madanayake
  • Surangani Gunasinghe
  • Pushpa Padmaperuma
  • Chole De Soysa                  1985 / 1986
  • Beulah Moonesinghe         1986 / 1988
  • Nirmala De Mel                  1988 / 1991
  • Maya Senanyake               1991 / 1992
  • Ranee Ratnayake              1992 / 1993
  • Manel Thirmavithana         1993 / 1994
  • Suriyakanthi Mellawa         1994 / 1995
  • Janaki Gunawardena         1995 / 1996
  • SitaYahampath                   1996 / 1998
  • Yvette De Silva                    1998 / 2001
  • Daya Jayaratne                 2001 / 2002
  • Indira Kulatilake                  2002 / 2005
  • Rezani Aziz                          2005 / 2006
  • Ramya Weerakoon            2006 / 2009
  • Vidyani Hettigoda              2009 / 2012
  • Saroshi Dubash                  2012 / 2014
  • Rifa Musthapha                  2014 / 2017
  • Chathuri Ranasinghe         2017 / 2020
  • Indrani Fernando               2020 / 2021
  • Chole De Soysa                  1985 / 1986
  • Beulah Moonesinghe         1986 / 1988
  • Nirmala De Mel                  1988 / 1991
  • Maya Senanyake               1991 / 1992
  • Ranee Ratnayake              1992 / 1993
  • Manel Thirmavithana         1993 / 1994
  • Suriyakanthi Mellawa         1994 / 1995
  • Janaki Gunawardena         1995 / 1996
  • SitaYahampath                   1996 / 1998
  • Yvette De Silva                    1998 / 2001
  • Daya Jayaratne                 2001 / 2002
  • Indira Kulatilake                  2002 / 2005
  • Rezani Aziz                          2005 / 2006
  • Ramya Weerakoon            2006 / 2009
  • Vidyani Hettigoda              2009 / 2012
  • Saroshi Dubash                  2012 / 2014
  • Rifa Musthapha                  2014 / 2017
  • Chathuri Ranasinghe         2017 / 2020
  • Indrani Fernando               2020 / 2021

Past Chairpersons

1985 / 1986
Chloe De Soysa
1986 / 1988
Beulah Moonesinghe
1988 / 1991
Nirmala De Mel
1991 / 1992
Maya Senanyake
1992 / 1993
Ranee Ratnayake
1993 / 1994
Manel Thirmavithana
1994 / 1995
Suriyakanthi Mellawa
1995 / 1996
Janaki Gunawardena
1996 / 1998
Sita Yahampath
2001 / 2002
Daya Jayaratne
2002 / 2005
Indira Kulatilake
2005 / 2006
Rezani Aziz
2006 / 2009
Ramya Weerakoon
2009 / 2012
Vidyani Hettigoda
2012 / 2014
Saroshi Dubash
2014 / 2017
Rifa Musthapha
2017 / 2020
Chathuri Ranasinghe
2020 / 2021
Indrani Fernando
2021 / 2023
Anoji de Silva

#CHAIRPERSON’S MESSAGE

As I write this message the saying ‘when the going gets tough the tough get going’ comes to my mind. While the rest of the world was feeling the economic stress due to the COVID-19 lockdowns we in Sri Lanka has to bear the impact of several events from 2018- Constitutional Crisis (November 2018), Easter Attacks (April 2019), COVID Lockdowns (March 2020), Aragalaya (March 2022) that culminated in us declaring bankruptcy as a country in April 2022. I salute the businesses that have been able to withstand such tumultuous conditions for the last 4 years.

We at the Women’s Chamber felt that this was a time our services were needed the most and that as the National Chamber for Women in Business it was our duty help women to feel empowered thinking of new and smart ways of doing business and adapting successfully to the changing circumstances.

We believe that Women Entrepreneurs have the ability to help our economy to grow in a sustainable manner. In addition to the economic contribution, they build companies that are ethical and built on a set of values and they create diverse and inclusive working environments. This was the reason despite many challenges we decided to launch the WCIC Prathibhabhisheka Awards to boost the credibility and visibility of these Women in 2022. We are happy and proud to have given visibility to exceptional women entrepreneurs not only in Sri Lanka but also in the SAARC region. This year we also decided to include provincial awards and was amazed at the exceptional women we came across from the provinces. The combined Revenue of the women who applied for our competition was Rs 9.1 Bn and 21% of them were from the large and medium category and 79% were from the SME category. We also noted that while 62% of the applicants were from the Western/ North Western Province 38% from the other 7 provinces. The very comprehensive judging process also gave us a good insights and I would like to thank our judges for taking time to share their valuable thoughts which we have already started sharing with our applicants and also our policy advocacy team to champion policy initiatives.

While the awards focused on women who have registered businesses, we also worked hard to empower the SME women who are also significant contributors to our economy. The WCIC/IFC Digital Academy, funded by the Australian Government was one of the most impactful collaborations we had had to achieve this . I must congratulate the IFC team for the way they structured the program delivery on a virtual platform which gave us the ability to reach out to our provinces. WCIC team also added other areas we felt were needed such as Marketing, Supply Chain and Personal Branding. The program concluded in 2023 with 125 women successfully completing from the Western Province, Northern Province, Hambantota and Kurunegala. These women too are now part of the extended WCIC family and active participants of the two marketplaces we conduct annually. We continue to work with them to help them to scale and grow businesses. Some have ended up as our members and even a board member. Some have also sent applications to the WCIC Women Entrepreneur Awards and others are planning to do so in future.

We also actively engaged in Policy Advocacy and would like to thank the government for inviting WCIC for all policy deliberations which impact businesses. We also embarked on creating awareness and promoting best practices against Gender Based Violence and Harassment at Work Places, with the assistance of CIPE, our long term collaborating partner.

We also conducted our annual flagship event for women in business under the theme “Empowered Women, Empower Sri Lanka.” We had inspiring and powerful women leaders who motivated to do better. It was also very heartening to see the increased number of young women attending this event and learning from these role models.

WCIC also took our first steps in our strategy of creating WCIC Chapters in each province with the creating of a pilot project the WCIC Northern Entrepreneur Group with the assistance of ……………………….. With what we have experienced so far we are confident that we will be able to execute the chapter model successfully thereby ensuring that we are able to reach out and assist the provincial women more effectively in future.

All of the above work would not have been possible without our Sponsors, funding agencies the Empowered WCIC board, CEO and the Secretariat. I would like to acknowledge and thank each of them for their investment and hard work and for going out of their way to empower women.

Policy Advocacy Pillar

Lobby government and private sector decision makers/stakeholders to create a direction, enabling environment for women to grow and thrive in business, backed by supporting information.

Leader

  • Sarrah Sammoon

Team Members

 

Membership Development & Services Pillar

Awareness, Attraction, Retention

To create awareness among professional and business women with a view to attract them by offering value adding benefits, regular engagements and retaining them with relevant activity and recognition.

Leader

  • Sonali de Silva

Team Members

 

Capacity Building Pillar

To enhance skills, knowledge, tools & equipment and resources in promoting the role of women in business and professional services including WCIC members.

Leader

  • Nayana Karunaratne

Team Members

 

Visibility Pillar

To define own brand identity to make it more relevant to the membership while ensuring top of mind brand recall and close engagement with all stakeholders through effective communication to promote WCIC brand.

Leader

  • Gayani de Alwis

Team Members

 

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