8th March 2022: AIA Insurance announced the launch of ‘Aya Surakina AIA’ on International Womens Day 2022, a women’s programme that will support and empower women across the island.
With ‘Aya Surakina AIA’, AIA will demonstrate that its commitment goes beyond their employees and extends to their customers, female entrepreneurs and the community as well. This programme will offer insurance solutions, financial literacy trainings, networks, recognition, and access to information. These new initiatives will endeavour to support women to be courageous, confident, to feel valued and appreciated, while AIA will ensure to protect her and provide her with financial security.
As one of the Best workplaces in Sri Lanka AIA provides numerous benefits for women employees and continues to promote a culture of meritocracy with the aim to give all our employees fair and equal opportunities to bring out the best in them and support them to achieve their career aspirations. The company clearly and timely understood that a credible and empowering meritocracy required an impetus to help women overcome various obstacles that often otherwise take precedence over their career choices.
Director HR, Thushari Perera commented on AIA’s continued commitment to moving the needle on gender equality at AIA, “we were the first EFC (Employers’ Federation of Ceylon) member to implement a comprehensive motherhood benefit scheme for women employees providing 100 working days of maternity leave in the country along with paternity leave, since 2015. Over the past year, the company has increased the percentage of women in its workforce up to 41%, but for us, it is not just about increasing the number of women in our workforce, it is also very much about ensuring that there is room to grow in their careers. Hence increasing the share of ‘Women in Leadership’ was a key focus for us. From facilitating flexible working hours to enabling growth through learning, coaching and ‘on the job’ local or foreign exposures, we took proactive measures to develop our talent pool. Today, 33% of the senior management are women. We have achieved 45% women representation in our wealth planner cadre; and we are looking to increase this further. 53% of women are among the Top 100 High Performing Wealth Planners, bringing in over half of new businesses. So, there is no limit to their potential.”
Over the last two years, AIA has conducted extensive research on women and insurance in Sri Lanka in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC). AIA Insurance was a part of the SheWorks Sri Lanka Partnership – under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program – from 2018-2020, and further extended their partnership with IFC in 2020. This collaboration gave them rich insights into how Sri Lankan women, be it employees, entrepreneurs, customers, and the community at large, perceive insurance, helping AIA build deep relationships with women across these segments.
Director Legal and Operations, Chathuri Munaweera added, “over the years, we have strengthened our long-standing commitment to making our company a gender-inclusive workplace. We have made structural and cultural changes that demonstrate a commitment for a gender balanced workforce across the board, while promoting gender equality where women have a level playing field to play an integral role in business success.”
Sharing his thoughts Chief Executive Officer Nikhil Advani said, “gender equality is not only a women’s issue, but also an economic issue. Greater gender equality can enhance economic productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions and policies more representative. It is crucial that leading companies such as AIA focus our energies to bring greater inclusivity to the market. There is significant underrepresentation of women in the workforce and ensuring that more women join the workforce as entrepreneurs, and employees will add significant value to the Sri Lankan economy”.