Expressing its commitment to gender equality and women empowerment, one of Sri Lanka’s leading diversified business groups, A. Baur & Company (Pvt.) Ltd, also known as Baurs, celebrated International Women’s Day by recognizing the importance of having women on the board and executive leadership positions.
Various studies have found out that women are still under-represented especially the higher they go up in the corporate ladder. Baurs is one of the many companies challenging the status quo and understanding that gender disparity is a company-wide effort. And what better way than celebrating and recognizing the accomplishments of two of its Directors, Anoja Basnayake, Director IT and Pavithra Samarasinghe, Director Finance.
Ms. Anoja Basnayake’s journey with Baurs spans over 12 years, having joined as Manager – IT in 2008. She now leads the group digital transformation strategy as Director – IT.
“In my journey with Baurs, I have always been inspired by the fact that women are actively encouraged to take bold steps and grasp every opportunity that will help build their self-confidence. One could always be assured that their views are heard and contributed to decision-making irrespective of their gender”, she said.
“I’m always excited to engage and work with the wonderful people at Baurs. The diversity and inclusivity is rich and they truly understand the strengths and contribution women bring into the workplace. The mutual respect and care I find here has always aspired my to grow stronger. I was given the opportunity to take on more responsibilities and oversee more business functions and the continued guidance, training and development I received at Baurs helped me become who I am today”, she added.
Ms. Basnayake previously worked with Brandix, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Hayleys Group. She is a board member of Project Management Institute (PMI) Sri Lanka Chapter and SAP User Group, and a Member of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID).
Celebrating her 20th year with Baurs, Pavithra Samarasinghe is instrumental in leading the company’s finances, growth and long-term sustainability as Director – Finance.
“I truly believe that diversity brings a lot of value to any company. I should know because I work at Baurs. I have never been discriminated nor deprived of any opportunity or benefit throughout my longstanding career. I am no exception, everyone here is treated the same irrespective of their gender or status”, she said.
“Women are extremely good at building relationships, multi-tasking and negotiations. Many companies are realizing this and paving the way for women to take on key leadership positions. There is nothing holding back women from unleashing their potential and reaching the top with necessary competencies, integrity and the right attitude. Baurs believes in promoting a healthy work-life balance which in my opinion is pivotal for women in workforce. There is a lot of empathy and encouragement across all levels”, she noted.