Coca-Cola Sri Lanka celebrates International Women’s Day

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Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Ltd. (CCBSL) celebrated International Women’s Day 2022, with multiple events designed to celebrate and empower the women of Sri Lanka. The first event was held in-house and included a variety of activities including a practical session on ‘Breaking the Bias’ by Shamal Gunawardena – Director Sales and Commercial of CCBSL and a special address by Mayank Arora – Managing Director of CCBSL. 

Both sessions addressed the importance of seeing beyond gender stereotypes and emphasised that both men and women have equal capabilities, and that no one should restrict themselves to any field of work based on their gender. The importance of sharing responsibilities on all occasions, including in the household was also highlighted, as an equal share of the burden allows everyone irrespective of gender to thrive, especially at work. The sessions also underlined the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace and the efforts put in by CCBSL to ensure that voices of women in the workforce are heard and their concerns addressed, to enable a conducive environment in which they can prosper. 

The highlight of the International Women’s Day 2022 celebrations was an insightful panel discussion, with eminent female personalities, who have embodied the ‘Break the Bias’ concept in Sri Lanka. The panel included Aruni Goonetilleke – Chairperson – Hatton National Bank PLC, SSP Ms. Ranasinghe – Director – The Bureau for Abused Children & Women and  Elizabeth Perera – Coca-Cola Distributor for 40+ years. Each member of the panel had vastly different backgrounds and life experiences. They each spoke about the biases they have encountered in their careers and how they overcame them while balancing their family life as well. 

Empowering Female Entrepreneurs in the local community

Along with inhouse celebrations, CCBSL partnered key government stakeholders in its locality in Biyagama to conduct an initiative to uplift 30 female entrepreneurs in celebration of International Women’s Day 2022. The event featured a training session on Banking & Financial Management by Sampath Kumara, Executive Officer, Commercial Bank Sri Lanka, and a motivation session by Tilani Jayasinghe, owner of Sashee Looms, a small-scale business. 

This session was followed by an overview of how SME entrepreneurs can gain support in conducting their business operations from relevant Government Offices by Rohana Karunaratne – Development Officer – Biyagama Divisional Secretariat. 

Creating awareness of PET plastic collection and recycling for females in Weligama

CCBSL also came together with long-term end-to-end recycling partner Eco Spindles and local community organisation ‘Sobhakantha’, to organise a beach clean-up, in Weligama. The aim of the event was to create awareness amongst 100+ females in the area on the value of PET plastic and the entrepreneurial opportunities available in plastic collection and recycling.