Women's International Shipping & Trading Association

Diruni Chanmugam Appointed as WISTA Sri Lanka President for Year 2022 / 2023

November 14, 2022

The Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association – WISTA Sri Lanka 8th AGM was held on 4th November at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, followed by Cocktails.

This event was graced by her excellency Julie J Chung, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, distinguished invitees and WISTA Members.

Addressing the gathering, her excellency Julie J Chung shared her experiences in breaking glass ceilings and overcoming gender disparities inspiring the gathering of WISTA members. She also stated that globally women representation in Shipping and Logistics is a mere 2% and urged females in the country, who are more than just over half of the population, to join forces in re-building the economy, advance good governance and further market reforms, and be a positive force in the labor market. She took time off her busy schedule to meet WISTA members over networking and cocktails.

Ms. Diruni Chanmugam – Director/ CEO of Shermans Logistics was elected as the President of WISTA Sri Lanka during the event. Diruni brings in a wealth of knowledge and experience in the Shipping and Freight Forwarding Industries to lead and achieve the objectives of WISTA Sri Lanka.

Chamila Bandara – Director of Advantis Express, IML Delivery Systems and Member of the General Management Committee of Hayley’s Advantis, was elected as the Vice President.

Kalani Dassanayake – Assistant Manager Commercial & Marketing of South Asia Gateway Terminals was elected as the Secretary.
Sharmala Fernando – Manager Key Account Management of Mac Supply Chain was elected as the Assistant Secretary.
Shiyamalee Karunanayake – General Manager Shared Services of Hayley’s Advantis was elected as Treasurer.
Ruwini Perera – Assistant Manager Customer Solutions and Business Development Support of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics was elected as the Assistant Treasurer.

The newly elected Executive Committee for the year 2022/23 consists of Nilu Mediwake Wickremasinghe – Director of SALOTA International, Swabha Wickramasinghe – Director Marketing of World Link Shipping, Anoma.V Ranasinghe – Consultant Shipping and HR Services of McLarens Shipping, Debbie Jones – Assistant General Manager P&I Division of  GAC Shipping, Amali Mudunkotuwa – General Manager Operations of Regency Teas, Surangi Gunasekera – General Manager NVOCC of Prudential Shipping Lines, Enoka Wickremasinghe – Assistant General Manager Marketing of Shipping and Cargo Logistics, Anuka Pathirana – Assistant General Manager HR of  GAC Shipping, Therani Kalyanapriye – LCL Execution Lead of  Maersk Lanka, Udara Cumaratunga – Senior Manager Commercial and Marketing of South Asia Gateway Terminals, Madhu Welikala – Assistant General Manager Business Development of  SALOTA International, Aparna Thilakaratne – Chief Law Officer of  Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Aruni Wijepala – Deputy General Manager  of Hayley’s Energy Services, Anjalika Perera – Manager Commercial of GAC Shipping, Dilky Bartholomeusz – Assistant Manager  Customer Service of GFS Lanka and Deepika Wijesuriya – Director of Penguin Shipping . The Executive Committee will work towards implementing many initiatives in accordance with the WISTA Sri Lanka mandate on improving gender parity and women empowerment in the industry.

Addressing the gathering the newly elected President Diruni Chanmugam expressed her confidence in leading WISTA Sri Lanka to be a strong force in the industry and outlined priorities that she intends to focus on during the year. Diruni stated that there now is a trend where more women are taking up career development initiatives focusing on higher studies in the industry which is a welcome change and it is her utmost intention to encourage more women to be equipped with leadership skills to prepare them for future leadership positions in their respective Companies. She also stated that Maritime and Logistics Sector need to embrace innovation, digitization, better cross border mobility, creating neutral platforms to collaborate and share experiences in addressing some of the challenges faced in the Industry. Diruni invited all members to join committees and collaborate by working together on projects to promote diversity and inclusion in the maritime and Logistics Sector.

Key highlight of the event was recognizing WISTA Personality of the year which was awarded to Dr . Sulochana Segera, founder and Chairperson of Women in Management (WIM). This recognition was bestowed on Sulochana for the immense contribution made to uplift the standards, promote gender parity in Sri Lanka and the region. She was able to stamp her mark in many overseas markets taking WIM representation to the region and to be recognized internationally by winning several awards. She also dedicates time and resources, joining hands with the Corporate community to uplift the standards of living and wellbeing of the underprivileged community needing support with several unique initiatives.

Founder President of WISTA, Shehara De Silva – Group Managing Director of McLarens Holdings addressing the gathering spoke about the journey of WISTA and its success story of promoting gender diversity in  a male dominant Shipping and Logistics Industry over the years. She also stated that WISTA has made many strides to promote female representation in the Industry.

Hayley’s Advantis Limited was the Official AGM Sponsor for the event and South Asia Gateway Terminals continue to power WISTA Sri Lanka as the Corporate Partner. SAGT will continue to partner and support WISTA for yet another year. WISTA Team is confident of yet another great year ahead of promoting and strengthening gender diversity and women empowerment in Shipping and Logistics industry In Sri Lanka.

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