Standard Chartered Sri Lanka was recently recognised by Great Place to Work® as one of the 10 ‘Best Workplaces™ for Women in Sri Lanka’ in 2021, the Bank announced. The Bank was evaluated in areas related to non-discrimination and fairness with respect to gender, opportunities for career growth, professional development and recognition, involvement in decision-making, regard for both physical and mental health in the workplace, and work-life balance.
Commenting on the Bank’s efforts to ensure gender equity at the workplace was Bingumal Thewarathanthri, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka. “Our unique diversity is a powerful asset and we’ve managed to unlock its potential by implementing the necessary policies and practices to motivate more females to be part of Sri Lanka’s workforce. We are proud to champion women in the workplace with 33% of the Country Management Team and 37% of the Country Leadership Team being comprised of female employees. It’s a humbling experience to be able to set an example as one of the top 10 women-friendly organisations in Sri Lanka and we hope that more local organisations will adapt practices to make their workplaces more inclusive for women.”
“The representation of women in the workplace is crucial when creating an inclusive work environment. Our Diversity and Inclusion Standards have enabled us to create a platform that drives all forms of diversity as a collective organisational purpose, enabling progression in the full employee cycle, where women too enter, grow and reach the maximum potential in their career through family-friendly and respectful workplace policies that promote equal opportunities underpinned by performance, free from discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation,” stated Ransi Dharmasiriwardhana, Head of Human Resources & Country Chair, Diversity & Inclusion, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka.
Last year, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka achieved a gender balance milestone of 50:50 as a result of the Bank’s initiatives under its People and Diversity & Inclusion strategy. One of the key programmes to support the advancement of women is a unique empowerment network, ‘W3’ – Women Win at Work. The W3 provides a platform for women to focus on their health and well-being, professional growth and the inclusion of females in the Bank as well as in the local community.
“We offer our employees flexible working arrangements, paid maternity leave over and above the statutory requirements, near-site childcare options and also have a support system for returning mothers, where a mom-buddy is assigned. It supports female colleagues, post maternity to assimilate back to work and as a result, we saw a 100% maternity return rate in the last financial year. This achievement, along with the recognition as one of the 10 ‘Best Workplaces™ for Women in Sri Lanka’, is a validation of our efforts to create a safe and inclusive work culture at Standard Chartered,” she added.
Amongst some of the initiatives implemented by the Bank to facilitate education, professional development, and career progression of women employees is a study incentive scheme that provides financial assistance to cover costs of a study programme, paid honorarium for banking studies conducted by the Institute of Bankers in the UK or Sri Lanka and access to mentoring and sponsorship programmes driven by the Standard Chartered Group.