Pioneering Women of SLASSCOM’s WTech Forum Take the World Stage
On December 8, 2022, the EQUALS Global Partnership held its prestigious annual EQUALS in Tech Award ceremony, celebrating initiatives with powerful vision, significant impact and regional importance in bridging the gender digital divide. The awards were announced as part of the Partner2Connect annual meeting at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Among the prestigious attendees, SLASSCOM Sri Lanka’s Women Technopreneurs Forum emerged winner of the 2022 EQUALS Leadership in the Tech Category awards.
The brainchild of the SLASSCOM Women Technopreneurs Forum, former SLASSCOM Chairperson and Executive Sponsor of the WTech Forum Sandra De Zoysa’s vision was to encourage and nurture Sri Lanka’s new-age female entrepreneurs, who are talented, dynamic, innovative and use technology, to create start-ups. This forward-thinking forum was subsequently headed by Shehani Seneviratne, Chief Operating Officer at 99x, and thereafter by the CEO of Inqbaytor, Dr. Harshani Perera, both of whom, through their own unique expertise, supported SLASSCOM’s WTech Forum forward in its journey of enriching the country’s female tech industry. The Forum is now headed by another inspiring personality, Zahra Cader, who is Director – Advisory Services and Diversity and Inclusion Lead for PwC Sri Lanka.
Voicing their thoughts on winning this prestigious award, Shehani, Harshani, and Zahra collectively stated: “We are proud of this award, as it recognizes our efforts in aiming to bring more women-owned micro, small and medium enterprises into the digital economy to help them grow and trade internationally. This award is also a great encouragement to continue our drive towards helping women technopreneurs to play an even bigger role in the digital economy, to grow their businesses and bring in the much-needed foreign revenue to the country. We also commend Sandra on her pioneering efforts in launching the WTech forum, which gave rise to our initiatives to close the gender gap in the representation of women entrepreneurs in the technology sector in our country.”
Current Chairman of SLASSCOM Ashique Ali also shared his congratulations at this monumental achievement, adding: “The truly exemplary leadership shown by the past and present leadership team as well as all the other brilliant women in the Forum, has not only won this prestigious award but taken the WTech Forum and SLASSCOM to the global stage. We are proud to be a part of their great achievement and of the innovative and powerful women of the Women Technopreneurs Forum.”
The Sri Lanka Association of Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM) acts as a catalyst for the growth of the IT&BPM sector focusing on 5 key impact areas – talent development, global trade and investments, entrepreneurship and innovation, ESG, and policy advocacy.
The Women Technopreneurs Forum (WTech Forum) was initiated to create a positive change across the tech ecosystem in Sri Lanka, to support, promote and grow women Technopreneurs, and to groom and foster the development of women with the potential to generate additional export revenue into the country. With its most recent achievement on this prestigious global stage, the WTech Forum has gone on to place another significant marker in Sri Lanka’s corporate history. As an EQUALS in Tech Awards award winner, the WTech Forum now stands in becoming an important model for others globally.