“Top50” Professional and Career Women Awards 2023 Spotlights Inspiring Women from Sri Lanka and the Maldives

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The highly anticipated “Top50” Professional and Career Women Awards 2023, organized by Women in Management (WIM) in partnership with Women in Work, a collaboration between the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Government of Australia, successfully concluded, honouring exceptional women from Sri Lanka and the Maldives who have made remarkable contributions to their respective fields.

The 11th edition of the awards celebrated women representing diverse professions such as hospitality, banking and finance, logistics and supply chains, entrepreneurship, media and law, amongst others, for their outstanding achievements and inspiring influence on their communities. The event also recognized Sri Lankan organizations that have played a pivotal role in supporting the growth and empowerment of women in the workplace. The Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, was the Chief Guest at the event.

Dr Sulochana Segera, Founder and Chairperson of Women in Management (WIM), expressed her enthusiasm about this year’s awards, “The 2023 awards were a celebration of resilience, optimism, hard work, and growth. As we navigated through unprecedented challenges over the past year, the winners of this year’s awards serve as a reminder of the boundless possibilities and opportunities that can arise from adversity. These women have showcased their extraordinary potential, challenging the status quo for the greater good. Over the past decade, the Top50 Awards has provided a platform for women to showcase their talents, achievements and, most importantly, to inspire others.”

With over 900 past award winners locally and internationally, the ‘Top50’ Professional and Career Women Awards aims to showcase the significant role women play as leaders, employees, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders in contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic growth in the country.

Marking IFC’s eighth consecutive year in co-hosting the event, Alejandro Alvarez de la Campa, Country Manager for IFC Sri Lanka and Maldives said, “Unleashing the potential of people, both men and women, is the much-needed panacea for a resilient, robust recovery. This could also help the world in better dealing with future crises. For Sri Lanka, women’s socio-economic empowerment therefore remains more relevant than ever. It presents an opportunity to redress deep-seated inequities. Now is the time for less pledges, and more proactive, integrated actions to create a future that works for everyone, built by everyone. To ensure a resilient recovery, the path should be gender inclusive – and women should be at the heart of the path to recovery. We need to ‘build forward fairer’ for economies and societies to build back better.”

Supported through the IFC-DFAT Women in Work programme, this year’s Top50 Awards aims to showcase the resilient leadership Sri Lankan women have shown, amidst the back-to-back twin-crises Sri Lanka recently endured.

Australia’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Paul Stephens also remarked that, “Promoting gender equality is a key priority for the Australian Government through our development programme and across everything we do here in Sri Lanka. Congratulations to all the women who are receiving awards today. You are an inspiration and role models to many young women in Sri Lanka and encourage other women to strive for and reach great heights in their professional careers.”

With over  514 nominations, the judging, which was conducted purely based on merit, was chaired by Kasturi Chelleraja Wilson, Executive Director/Group Chief Executive Officer Hemas Holdings PLC; Dr. Mariyam Shakeela, Honorary Consul of Belgium in Maldives, former Cabinet Minister in Maldives and CEO of SIMDI; Sarah Twigg, Program Manager of Women in Work at IFC; Santosh Menon, Chairman of FCB Kl.LK; Dinesh Weerakkody, Chairman of Board of Investment of Sri Lanka; Prof. Selvaraj Oyyan Pillay, UUNIMAS Kuala Lumpur Learning Centre GIA; Dunston Pereira, CEO Private Office of HH Sheikh Ahamed bin Faisal Al Qassimi; Ngozi Oyewole, CEO of Noxie Limited and President – Women in Africa; and Gowri Rajan, Director of Sun Match Company.

Speaking of the award winners, Kasturi Chelleraja Wilson, Executive Director/Group Chief Executive Officer Hemas Holdings PLC, said “It was a privilege to Chair Judging panel of the Top50 Professional and Career Women’s Awards 2023, where we were tasked at selecting 50 exceptional women from hundreds of applications across the globe. I am impressed by the winners’ achievements, which demonstrate that women can excel in any field they choose. Their passion, perseverance, and dedication are an inspiration to us all. Congratulations to all the winners and it’s an honor to have been a part of the process and to have witnessed the outstanding work of these accomplished women.”

The ‘Top 50’ Professional and Career Women Awards 2023 was powered by, Platinum Sponsor – Robbialac, Tourism Partner – Sri Lanka conventional Bureau, Official Airline Partner – Sri Lankan Airlines, Official Destination Partner – MMPRC Visit Maldives, Personal Care Category Partner – Earth Essence, Feminine Hygiene Partner – Fems, Sponsors – EFI (EXPO), Hayleys Agriculture, Dimo, NorthPort Logistics, McLarense Group, Aitken Spence, and Coca-Cola.


No Name Designation Award Category Country
1 Anne-Marie Cader Lawyer, Mediator and Conflict Coach Leadership in the field of Law Australia
2 Dr Anne Aly Federal Minister for Early Childhood Education and Minister for Youth in the Albanese Government. Inspirational Women Leader Australia
3 Nishami Dharmaratna Managing Director – Global Head of Product (Payments, Liquidity & Digital Solutions) Westpac Australia Leadership in the Field of Banking Industry Australia
4 Parveen Mahmud Chairperson, RDRS Bangladesh &
First female President, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB)
Leadership in Finance and Accounting Bangladesh
5 Julian Priyani Devika Anthony President – Anthony and Associates PC Entrepreneurship in Legal Advisory and Consultancy Canada
6 Dr. Rajni Aggarwal President, Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (FIWE) Leadership in the Field of Women Entrepreneurship Empowerment India
7 Thakur Reshma Singh Director – Ishaan Enterprises Leadership in the field of Environmental Science India
8 Dr. T Bina Director of Happy Valley Business
School, Coimbatore
Leadership in the field of Education India
9 Cindy Yoshiko Shirata Council Chairman  Road Tax Rating Council of Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau Leadership in Finance and Accounting Japan
10 Noraziah Abdul Wahab Leadership in Education Malaysia
11 Director, University SustainabilityCentre (USC)University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas)
12 Dr Kavitha Muthy Chief Strategy Officer Intellize Tech Services Leadership in Cyber security, compliance in Digital Technology Malaysia
13 Hon. Aishath Mohamed Didi Minister Government/Ministry Of Gender, Family And Social Services Leadership award for Social Development & Politics Maldives
14 Aishath Jennifer Deputy Managing Director Island Aviation Services Limited Career Leadership in Aviation Maldives
15 Aishath Shafeeg Seamstress :-Self Employment Courageous Woman Entrepreneur Award Maldives
16 Sodeinde Olutosin Abosede Principal Consultant Finance and Tax Leadership in the Finance Sector Nigeria
17 Chidinma  Onyinyechi  Obi Founder and Chief Executive officer of Dindu Energy Group Career Leadership in Energy Sectors Nigeria
18 Dr. Anire Okogun Founder Chanelle Microfinance Leadership in the Field of Banking Industry Nigeria
19 Nida (Nida Mahmood) Usman Chaudhary Founder at Women in Law Initiative Pakistan, Justitia Laureate Vienna Leadership Award in Women Rights and Activism Pakistan
20 Maryyam Khan Vice President SAWDF Pakistan Chapter Leadership in Women Development and Entrepreneurship Pakistan
21 Love Charmaine Uychoco President and Cofounder of IAM TITANIUM Holdings Corporation Leadership in Women Empowerment Philippine
22 Aradhana Khowala CEO & Founder of Aptamind Partners Leadership in the Hospitality Industry United Kingdom
23 Fatima Patel Editor in Chief and founder of Asian Standard and Asian Sunday news Leadership in the field of  International Media United Kingdom
24 Shazna Muzammil Conservative Councilor, Chair of MK Conservative Milton Keynes City Council/ MK Conservative Federation Leadership in social and women empowerment United Kingdom
25 Tess Cacciatore Film producer and philanthropist Leadership in Film Production and Script Writing USA
26 Nisha Devi Rodrigo Chief Growth Officer – KALA Wellness Entrepreneurship in Wellness Care USA
27 Dr. Rajan Sudesh Ratna Deputy Head and Senior Economic Affairs Officer, UN ESCAP Male Champion of the year India
28 Manjusha Kanwar Ex International Player P Sports woman of the year India
29 Vidya Sivaraja Managing Director – South East Asia & South Asia Fonterra Group Trail Blazer
30 Hajar Alafifi Chairperson and Managing Director – Unilever Sri Lanka The Glocal Leader of the year
31 Dr. Sharmini Coorey Inspirational Woman of the year in Economics and Leadership
32 Dr Pramilla Senanayake Inspirational Woman of the year in Medical category
33 Lakmini Wijesundera Cofounder and CEO, IronOne Technologies and BoardPAC Business role Model of the year
34 Nayanabaduge Nadika Prabashi Opatha Director/Chief Executive Officer LOLC Life Assurance Ltd Career Role Model of the Year
35 Dinusha Bhaskaran Managing Director Valibel one Corporate Leader of the Year
37 Sherin Cader Chairperson – Nation Trust Bank Banking Industry Careers
38 Rishini Weeraratne Head of social media, Editor, The Weekend Online, Daily Mirror Wijeya Newspapers Limited Digital Media Sector
39 Minoli Wickramasinghe Chief Executive Officer – Capital Trust Properties (Pvt) Ltd Real Estate & Construction Sector
40 Minelle Fernandez Colombo Correspondent for International News Channel – Aljazeera Media Personality of the Year
41 Shobini Gunasekera Director General Europe & North America Division Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sri Lanka Leadership in the Field of State and Government Sector
42 Venkatesh Mahadevan “Technology Hall of Fame”,  Fellow @British Computer Society, Mentor – @Columbia and Northeastern University, Podcast host & Angel Entrepreneur Male Champion of the year UAE
43 Devika Weerasinghe Executive Vice President John Keels Group &
Chief Financial Officer – Transportation and
Plantations services sectors Sector – John Keels Holdings PLC
Financial Careers
44 Praveena Perera AVP & Group Account Director – MullenLowe Sri Lanka Advertising & Public Relations Sector
45 G. Sashika Hirandi De Silva Managing Director – Cinnatopia (Pvt) Ltd Agriculture Sector
46 Rukmani Rathnayake Project Manager – Ministry Of Education Diversity Champion
47 Hiranya Perera Film Producer – Silent Frames Productions (Pvt) Ltd Film Industry
48 Rekha Weerasooriya VICE PRESIDENT – HR TRANSFORMATION -Dialog Axiata PLC HR & Diversity Sector
49 Dr Harshani Perera Co-founder / CEO- Inqbaytor Group Pvt Ltd Information Technology
50 Milani Salpitikorala Founder – Child Protection Force Advocacy on women & children rights
51 Shehara Varia Partner &  Director – F J & G de Saram Legal Sector
52 Saubhagya Kothalawala Chief Supply Chain Officer – Lankem Ceylon PLC Logistics & Supply Chain Sector
53 Kaushali Kusumapala Director Marketing – Atlas Axillia Marketing & Brand Management
54 Geetha Karandawala Director, Barberyn Ayurveda Resorts Hotel & Hospitality Industry
55 Charini Suriyage Founder & Creative Director – Concept Studio Pvt Limited Fashion & designing
56 Manoji Wadugodapitiya Chairperson & Managing Director – Pams hydro power (pvt) Entrepreneur of the year
57 Anuradha Herath Managing Director- Java Lounge Pvt Ltd Medium Scale Women Entrepreneur of the year
58 Chathurika Wickaramsinghe – Founder & CEO – CrowdLearn Pvt Limited Upcoming Techno Entrepreneur
59 Yvonne Fernando Owner – Zensai Foods ( Pvt) Ltd Small Scale Women Entrepreneur
61 Nilshani “Nilly” De Silva Nili’s Craft Teacher – Down syndrome Inspirational & Courageous Award
63 MAS Intimates Women friendly workplace of the year
64 Fems AYA Best Community Initiatives focusing on women led project of the year
65 John Keells Holdings PLC Organization promoting equity/equality and diversity of the year
72 Suranga Samaranayake Editor – Dharanee Newspaper Printed Media Award
73 Roshan Mahana Male Champion of the year
74 KUMUDU PRIYANKA DISSANAYAKE MUDIYANSELAGE Paraathletics career Sports woman of the year
75 Shirley Jayawardena, First Women President of Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries Sri Lanka (FCCISL) Trade & Entrepreneurship
76 Roshan Mahanama Trust INGO, NGO and Associations on women & childrend empowerment of the year



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