Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT) Sri Lanka Forum held its third Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 6th April at the National Chamber of Commerce Auditorium amidst a large gathering.
Founding Chairperson Gayani de Alwis was reelected as the Chairperson for the fourth term. The two of the three Vice Chairpersons, Anoma Ranasinghe and Niroza Gazzaliand the Secretary Priyangani Jayasundara too were reelected.
Dhashma Karunaratne and Sriyamal Gamage were elected as a Vice Chairperson and Treasurer respectively. WiLAT organized a key note addressfor the first time at this AGM and it was delivered by Mr Anushka Wijesinha, Chief Economist, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on the theme “Smart Future: Shaping a New Sri Lankan Economy”
The key feature of this year’s newly elected council is the presence of women from all sectors (aviation, maritime, land transport and supply chain) of the logistics and transport industry and representation from academic institutions. In order to attract millennials a young female student representative each from the four universities offering supply chain and logistics degree programs were co-opted. WiLAT is the women’s body of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and is one of the live wires of the institute. Since its formation in 2013, WiLAT has played an active role in promoting gender diversity in the logistics and transport sector through value enhancing activities.
Chairperson Gayani in her AGM address spoke about various activities that WiLAT organized in the past one year and thanked the outgoing Executive Committee for their support in the three year journeyof WiLAT. She stressed that the mission of WiLAT is toprovide a forum for women engaged in the industry to network and provide opportunities for career advancement and to empower women to become leading professionals in the industry. She also highlighted that WiLAT’s goals are to create awareness on career opportunities in the industry, provide access to information sources on continuous professional development, provide networking opportunities to share best practices, provide training and mentoring opportunities to make a positive contribution, continuously develop and nurture a talent pipeline for the industry and to drive change in industry through diversity.
She highlighted that past one year saw WiLAT expanding the network and gaining recognition through value adding initiatives and this enabled WiLAT to secure a strategic partnership with EFL. She thanked the EFL management for partnering with WiLAT for supporting to drive gender diversity in the logistics and transport sector. Year 2015 also saw WiLAT collaborating with WISTA to organise a career fair and quiz for female students from universities in the country to promote the profession as a field of discipline. The event saw five universities and fifteen companies taking part. WiLAT is the women’s forum of CILT and is part of an ever expanding global network within CILT. It is part of an ever expanding global network within CILT. The main objective of WiLAT is to promote and encourage the art and science of logistics and transport among women. Global launch of WiLAT was held on 3rd June 2013 in Sri Lanka. Currently WiLAT is present in 18 countries with over 1800 members in the global network which is expanding rapidly.