Lankan women in IT commit to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace

March, 6, 2018

~ Diversity Collective exchange best practices on diversity and inclusion

 ~ Three pillars in focus to improve and drive women's engagement in IT

In a bid to bring gender diversity to the forefront, a group of high-profile professionals from some of Sri Lanka's leading technology-driven companies have committed time, effort, and energy towards a series of programmes under Driving Gender Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace. The working group, Diversity Collective, is committed to the advancement of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and promoting the future of young and aspiring female IT students. Diversity Collective comprises employees from London Stock Exchange Group, MillenniumIT, WSO2, Virtusa, and Fortitude.

Initiated by the Asian Development Bank together with the Export Development Bank of Sri Lanka as the nodal agency, Diversity Collective aims to create an inclusive culture in the IT industry that will increase gender diversity. It will also facilitate SLASSCOM's objectives to increase the number of female IT graduates, fulfilling the criteria of diversity in potential partners, building community wide awareness of career opportunities for women in IT and Business Process Management (BPM). The overarching aim is to empower women and girls to choose careers in IT and BPM and enabling them to remain and advance their careers in the sector. The programme will provide a platform for change by bringing together senior IT and BPM professionals and and influencers to foster related discussion, collaboration, and action.

Bani Chandrasena, Head of HR – Sri Lanka, London Stock Exchange Group said, "Diversity Collective is a group of volunteers who have come together to further the agenda for diversity in the workplace. We believe that it is important to focus on diversity and an inclusive environment where all our people feel valued for who they are. Diversity Collective will strive to break down barriers by sharing experiences and encouraging future employees to realise their full potential in every aspect of life.”

The executive core committee of Diversity Collective includes Chinthi Weerasinghe, President; Hemantha Jayawardena, Vice President; Bani Chandrasena, Chief Marketing Officer; Chamila Cooray, Treasurer; and Tania Samarasinghe, Secretary.

The initial focus of Diversity Collective will be across three pillars – schools, higher education, and corporates – to attract, grow, and retain females into IT and BPM careers. They aim to attract female students to follow STEM subjects that are important in the pursuance of IT as a career, and then guide young women towards a career in IT/BPM sector. For women already in the sector, Diversity Collective will focus on retention, empowerment and growth.

Under the school and higher education pillars, educative forums and interactive discussions have been held for students studying ICT as a career path. Participants were taken through a series of programmes that address common misconceptions about the industry. Under the theme “Marketing Yourself”, they also had the opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of corporate etiquette, interview techniques and recruitment policies.

More recently, trainee teachers were taken through a series of programmes that help them guide, teach, and encourage students to pursue ICT as a viable career option. The forum actively encouraged these young trainees to participate in, and gather information on the possibilities of a career in ICT for their female students.

The series of programmes continues on until 8 March, culminating in a Women's Day Breakfast event.

About London Stock Exchange Group: London Stock Exchange Group (LSE.L) is an international markets infrastructure business. Its diversified global business focuses on capital formation, intellectual property and risk and balance sheet management. LSEG operates an open access model, offering choice and partnership to customers across all of its businesses. The Group can trace its history back to 1698.

The Group operates a broad range of international equity, ETF, bond and derivatives markets, including London Stock Exchange; Borsa Italiana; MTS (Europe's leading fixed income market); and Turquoise (a pan-European equities MTF). Through its platforms, LSEG offers market participants, including retail investors, institutions and SMEs unrivalled access to Europe’s capital markets. The Group also plays a vital economic and social role, enabling companies to access funds for growth and development.

Through FTSE Russell, the Group is a global leader in financial indexing, benchmarking and analytic services with approximately $10 trillion benchmarked to its indexes. The Group also provides customers with an extensive range of real time and reference data products, including SEDOL, UnaVista, XTF and RNS.

Post trade and risk management services are a significant part of the Group’s business operations. In addition to majority ownership of LCH, a multi-asset global CCP operator, LSEG owns CC&G, the Italian clearing house; Monte Titoli, a leading European custody and settlement business; and globeSettle, the Group’s CSD based in Luxembourg.

LSEG is a leading developer and operator of high performance technology solutions, including trading, market surveillance and post trade systems for over 40 organisations and exchanges, including the Group’s own markets. Additional services include network connectivity, hosting and quality assurance testing. MillenniumIT, GATElab and Exactpro are among the Group’s technology companies.

Headquartered in the United Kingdom, with significant operations in North America, Italy, France and Sri Lanka, the Group employs approximately 3,500 people.

Further information on London Stock Exchange Group can be found at