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WILAT SRI LANKA JOURNEY
2014 - 2015
Women in Logistics (WiLAT) Sri Lanka was inaugurated on 21st March 2013 with the vision to be the
most sought after Women’s Advocacy Group in the Region. WiLAT Sri Lanka is a part of the Chartered
Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) affiliated to CILT UK which is a professional body dedicated to
promoting the art and science of logistics and transport globally. WiLAT SL is one of the five pioneering
fora in the WiLAT global community.
WiLAT Sri Lanka makes its objective to strike a balance in the Sri Lankan logistics and transport sector,
which will be blooming in line with country’s aspiration to become a regional logistics hub by 2020.
Although the female population outnumbers the male population in the country, female representation
in 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. WiLAT Sri Lanka makes its priority to bridge
the gap by creating awareness and enhancing career opportunities for women in the industry. WiLAT Sri
Lanka believes that improving gender balance will help to bring in diverse views and ideas for value
creation in the sector.
WiLAT Sri Lanka has been a dynamic association with an array of events and programs planned to
achieve its objectives. Some of the other goals of WiLAT Sri Lanka are provide networking opportunities,
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provide access to information sources in the sector to guide them on Continuous Professional
Development, train & mentor women in the industry to make a positive contribution, continuously
develop & nurture a talent pipeline for the industry and drive change in industry through diversity.
PAST EVENTS - 2014 - 2015
Celebrating Women’s Day 2014 – Panel Discussion
WiLAT celebrated its first anniversary on 7th March 2014 to coincide with the International Women’s
day which fell on 8th March. In keeping with the theme for the International women’s day, ‘inspiring
change’, a panel discussion was organized on the theme ‘Can women change the dynamics of logistics &
transport industry?’ at Galadari Hotel. The discussion panel comprised of both male and female
figureheads in the industry. The panel shared their experiences and was able to give the participants
insights in to how to overcome the barriers in their careers in the logistics and transport industry.
IGNITE – Mentoring Program
WiLAT launched its flagship event, ‘Ignite’, mentoring program on 3rd November 2014 amidst a large
gathering. Prior to the event applications were called in from interested mentees and based on their
sector specialization, mentors were assigned. Response to the program was over whelming. CILT
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international President Dr. Dorothy Chan and the Secretary General CILT Mr. Keith Newton were special
invitees at the event. 16 mentors have been sought after representing the spectrum of logistics and
transport industry to mentor 55 young aspiring females from universities and industry. Subsequent to
the “Ignite” event WiLAT organized a talk on ‘how to make a mentoring relationship work’ by Ms.
Ramani Samarasundera, Director Marketing Unilever Sri Lanka LTD on 6th December 2014. A fruitful
guide to mentoring was shared with all participants to make the most from the mentoring relationship.
Celebrating Women’s Day 2015 – Inspiration to make it Happen
WiLAT celebrated its second anniversary on 9th April 2015 to coincide with the International Women’s
day which fell on 8th March 2015 at Kingsbury Hotel. In keeping with the theme of International
women’s day, ‘make it happen’ WiLAT wanted to inspire women to make it happen by the speakers
sharing their stories to motivate others. The keynote speaker Ms. Samadanie Kiriwandeniya,
Chairperson of Sanasa Development Bank spoke on the event theme ‘Inspiration to make it happen’
whiles 4 other ladies from the industry spoke in line with the theme.
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WiLAT carried out career guidance and awareness in Kotelawala Defense University, Ocean University,
CINEC maritime campus and University of Moratuwa to promote the sector and to promote gender
diversity for value creation.
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WiLAT’s Strategic Planning Workshop
WiLAT Sri Lanka held a strategic planning workshop in May 2015 to plan their journey for the next three
years. The forum is actively present in all social media with over 550 likes in our fb page. CILT has a
membership of over 1000 and WiLAT member base is 200 with representation from leading public and
private entities and university students around the country. With strong leadership and dynamic
member base, WILAT Sri Lanka will continue to work on striking a balance in Sri Lankan logistics and
Membership Drive at the Ocean University
The CILT Membership Drive for 2015 was held at the Ocean University in June 25 to promote and
encourage students to join in the field of Logistics and Transportation. The emerging trends in the
industry, demands, and career prospects were addressed. This was an interactive session.
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The WiLAT SL organized a walk on 5th September under the theme “Striking a Balance in
Logistics and Transport” with the primary objective of Creating Awareness and Promoting Gender
Diversity in the sector. The 5km walk began with a very colorful inauguration where the WiLAT Sri Lanka
Chairperson Gayani de Alwis together with the ExCo unveiled the pledge board whilst releasing
hundreds of purple and white balloons to the air.
The walk was then followed by the much awaited Float Competition among the four universities
and treasure hunt. The students actively participated by making props and models to convey a
message on their respective area of study and the logistics and transport sector as a whole.
Another key highlight of the walk was Expo Lanka, a global freight forwarding company pledged
Rs 1million as a strategic partner of WiLAT annually. Judging by the huge participation it was a
huge success with over 600 participating to support the cause. Walk concluded by all invitees
and guests signing on the pledge board to take the message forward to strike a balance in
logistics and transport sector.
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Gayani de Alwis
Chairperson of WiLAT Sri Lanka