IFC and FCCISL to help Lankan businesses achieve work-life balance | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

IFC and FCCISL to help Lankan businesses achieve work-life balance

25 July, 2021

The IFC and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Sri Lanka (FCCISL) have launched an online learning series to strengthen business commitment towards flexible work and family-friendly practices to help employees. 

This will help reduce the gender gap and promote greater work-life balance.

Over 40 Sri Lankan businesses participated in the first in a series of online learning sessions by the ‘Together We Can’ partnership – launched under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program. The partnership is aimed at promoting gender-smart policies among Sri Lankan businesses, with a particular focus on helping mitigate Covid-19 impact.

Globally, the pandemic has disproportionately affected women’s employment and unpaid care responsibilities. According to IFC research conducted among 15 leading Sri Lankan companies, female employees were twice as likely to report increased household or care responsibilities due to Covid-19.

“Never before has work and family life been so intertwined as we have seen over the past year. Covid-19has shown us that family-friendly policies are not just ‘nice to haves’ but ‘must haves’,” said  IFC’s Acting Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives, Victor Antonypillai.

“Greater flexibility in balancing personal and professional lives could yield positive impacts. Employers who put the needs of their employees first during this crisis are better set to achieve long-term business sustainability, productivity, and profitability,” he said.

The ‘TogetherWeCan’ learning sessions, which will be led by local and global industry experts over a year, will cover areas including diversity in leadership, building respectful workplaces as well as recruitment and promotion. It comes at a time when increasing numbers of employees are working from home. 

FCCISL President Shirley Jayawardena said, “To deliver sustainable growth and achieve a strong pandemic recovery, we must engage the full force of our human capital. Men and women need to be equal stakeholders in the workplace.”

Family-friendly policies such as paid leave, safe transportation, and flexible work arrangements significantly benefit businesses and all employees, but specifically, working parents and children. 

Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Amanda Jewell said, “The Australian Government is proud to support this latest online learning series that offers important expertise Sri Lankan businesses can use to effectively navigate the impacts of Covid-19. This series will bring together women and men from a wide range of companies across Sri Lanka’s private sector, to become equal stakeholders in the post-pandemic business recovery journey, driving gains in productivity, competitiveness and innovation.”

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