Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (better known as WISTA), was launched in Sri Lanka on the 03rd July 2014, at the Hilton Residencies Colombo amidst a large and distinguished gathering including the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Chairmen & Chairpersons of leading Public and Private Sector Organizations and Institutes.
WISTA Sri Lanka will function under the Presidency of Ms. Shehara Jayawardana, and consists of a 20 member committee which, to date, has been successful in attracting 49 eminent females from shipping and shipping related industries to join its membership.
"We are deligted to welcome WISTA Sri Lanka to our ranks“, stated WISTA President Karin Orsel. "There is obviously a great deal of support and enthusiasm for this development both locally and regionally.“
Gracing the occasion was Founder Member and President of WISTA India, Mrs. Sanjam Sahi Gupta and Founder Member and Joint Secretary of WISTA India, Ms. Sumi Sahi.
In her keynote address, Mrs. Indrani Sugathadasa, Chairperson of the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka, commended the women of Sri Lanka who have already ventured into employment in all spheres, and emphasized that women should take a more active role in the future as well. Her advice to the younger generation was, to be focused, dedicated and committed to whatever task they were assigned with, quoting several instances from her own career as a civil servant which spanned over 35 years.
A very informative and thought provoking panel discussion was held on the topic of “How to sustain and reach shipping excellence by promoting and strengthening social, economic and gender balance” with the participation of four eminent personalities in the Shipping Industry. The Panel comprised Mrs. Manouri de Silva, the first female Fellow of the ICS Branch in Sri Lanka and first female General Manager of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation; Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Chairman/CEO of Aitken Spence Maritime Logistics & Cargo and Director - Aitken Spence PLC, and a former Chairman/CEO of Sri Lanka Ports Authority; Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and Director of Jaya Container Terminals Ltd., [JCT Ltd.,] South Asia Gateway Terminals [SAGT] , Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd., [CICT] and Magampura Port Management Company (Private) Ltd., and Past President of Nautical Institute of UK (Sri Lanka Branch) and Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport and Mrs. Sanjam Sahi Gupta, Founder Member & President of WISTA India.
The highlight of the evening was the felicitation of women who have played a vital role in developing the woman’s role in the Sri Lankan Shipping Industry which is known to be predominantly male. These eminent women have contributed to the shipping industry in different ways; through their sheer commitment, passion, integrity and dedication to work.
Three eminent females in the fields of Entrepreneurship, Public Sector Service and Training & Development were felicitated.
The Felicitation Award for Entrepreneurship was given to Mrs. Norma Nanayakkara, an astute entrepreneur and well respected in the shipping field.
The Award for Public Sector Service was given to Mrs. Sriyani Wanniarachchi, Director – Finance of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. She is a Graduate, Associate Member and Fellow Member of ICASL.
The Award for Training & Development was made to Mrs. Anoma Ranasinghe, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (UK), Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) & a member of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries & Administrators (UK). She is also a visiting Lecturer at the University of Colombo and represents many professional bodies in Sri Lanka.
Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) is an international organization for women in management positions involved in the maritime transportation business and related trades worldwide. WISTA is a major player in attracting more women to the industry and in supporting women in management positions. WISTA is active in 33 countries (called National WISTA Associations or NWAs) and has more than 2,000 individual members worldwide.
For more information about WISTA go to www.wista.net