The American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (AmCham Sri Lanka) on 1st March 2023, convened a roundtable discussion with the participation of over 60 C-suite representatives of the private sector across over 20 industries, to discuss, dissect and design solutions to the age-old problem of attrition of women.
Setting the context, the Head of Chamber of AmCham SL – Vrai Raymond said, “as many of us know first-hand, many women opt to leave the workforce after marriage or after the birth of a child, or when the burden of childcare, elder care, or a combination of these things makes a work-life balance under existing norms impossible. This leads to a significant decrease in female participation in the labor force and the loss of a valuable resource. Women’s participation in the workforce is vital both for individual and for economic development, and in recognizing the importance for society to promote and support this we take a very important step toward achieving empowerment and embracing equity.”
Chief Guest at the occasion was Ambassador of the United States of America in Sri Lanka, HE Julie. J. Chung, who in her keynote address drew attention to the fact that “it is estimated that Sri Lanka could add USD 20 billion to its annual GDP by 2025 if women actively participate in the workforce.”
A White Paper outlining the recommendations of the Private Sector for a national-level action plan will be presented to the Government of Sri Lanka, while best practices and innovative solutions adopted by the private sector organizations represented will be used to design capacity-building learnings across the AmCham membership.
The forum was conducted in collaboration with Great Place To Work- Sri Lanka, Verité Research and hosted by the Hilton Colombo.