Celebrating efforts made to uplift and empower women in the workplace, Sri Lanka’s premier
private sector bank HNB PLC was recognized as offering one of the nation’s best working cultures
for women at the Second Edition of the Women Friendly Workplace Awards 2022 (WFWA).
A joint initiative pioneered by Satyn Magazine and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
(CIMA) Sri Lanka. The WFWA showcases Sri Lankan corporates that take the lead in creating a fair
and even playing field for women to achieve their highest potential in the workplace.
“Sri Lanka’s women have always played an iconic role in our society, contributing immense economic
value, and providing leadership at every level. As a nation, it is more important than ever to ensure
that women are given equal respect and opportunity in the workplace. We are honored to have
received this important recognition, which is a validation of our efforts to create workplaces that
empower women, and encourage them to achieve their fullest potential,” HNB Deputy General
Manager, Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Transformation Officer, L. Chiranthi Cooray
Diversity and inclusion are essential components of HNB’s HR strategy, as evidenced by the bank’s
near even male-to-female ratio of 52:48, while internal research conducted by the bank across
executives, managers and senior management roles has found that women and men working in the
same pay-grades are evenly remunerated.
The bank also enforces a zero-tolerance policy on sexual discrimination and harassment, while
women are well represented in all employment grades, including its Board of Directors. Over the
recent past, the bank has also implemented several additional measures to encourage greater female
participation in its workforce, including introduction of family-sensitive transfers, mobility and
remote work policies.
Similarly, 380 leaders were provided with a unique ‘Women in Management’ development program
run by HNB Talent Centre. The bank also offers extensive support in order to encourage work-life
balance for all employees and especially among new mothers. As a result, almost 100% of all HNB
employees have chosen to return to work after taking maternity leave.
Sharing some of her personal experiences working for the bank, Sri Lankan National Women’s
Netball Team Captain Gayanjali Amarawansa said: “HNB has always been extremely supportive of
my professional, athletic and personal ambitions. In addition to investing in my professional career,
the bank also supported the sustainable development of my sports career. I’m sure that my personal
experience with HNB is only one of thousands and I am proud to be a part of HNB’s journey in
setting the standard for inclusive workplaces for women in Sri Lanka.”
Hailing from a similar background in sports, Sri Lanka Women’s Basketball Team Captain Anjalee
Ekanayake shared her HNB experience: “My journey with HNB started as a student manager while
schooling. I have been amazed by its work culture since then. It was my dream workplace when I
was a child and today, I stand proud as an employee at HNB who not only excels at her professional
career, but also in representing Sri Lanka on the court. HNB has been a source of strength and plays
a pivotal part in me becoming a victorious national basketball captain in 2022. I am grateful for all the
support given to me by HNB and I take pride in being part of such an amazing workplace culture”.
WFWA, jointly pioneered by Satyn Magazine and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
(CIMA) Sri Lanka, held its inaugural award ceremony in 2021 and has garnered great interest among
corporates ever since. With a mission to recognize corporate workplace cultures that uplift women
and work towards their inclusive growth , WFWA continues to support organizations to inculcate
diversity, inclusivity and women empowerment within its sustainable growth strategy in creating an
equitable workplace culture.