fbpx

Fortude launches its Diversity and Inclusion initiative, ‘I AM DIVERSITY’

| Blog

On the 18th of January, Fortude launched the ‘I AM DIVERSITY’ initiative, as part of its corporate ethos to encourage a diverse and inclusive workplace for all employees irrespective of age, gender, race, color, orientation and disability.

The session began with a speech by Carmen Niethammer, Women in Work, Program Manager from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an organization that is part of the World Bank Group. Carmen’s address illustrated interesting statistics from research carried out by the IFC, stating that Sri Lanka has a female board representation of 8.2% on Colombo Stock Exchange-listed companies, which compares well with more developed Asian economies such as Japan at 3.5% and South Korea at 4.1%. Subsequently, she mentioned that there is significant correlation between financial performance and greater board representation by women.

Speaking at the launch, Arjuna Sirinanda, Managing Director and CEO, Fortude, highlighted that he has always been a strong supporter of encouraging inclusivity, having grown up in various cultures from across Asia to the West. He stressed on the importance of leadership driving the initiative, and the steps Fortude has taken and will take in order to be an equal opportunity employer.

The session was followed by a panel discussion with three guest panelists; industry experts in disciplines across media, legal and women at work.

On the panel was Danu Innasithamby, Global Peace Ambassador for the World Peace and Diplomacy Organization. He discussed social issues of diversity and inclusion and brought forward a few impact stories from his childhood. He concluded on a positive note with how millennials are giving more thought to diversity and acceptance, together with being bold about expressing who they are.

Nirusha Ranjitkumar Ratnatunga, a partner at Nithya Partners, specializing in legislature related to Capital Markets, Foreign Investment, Employment Law and Due Diligence, was also part of the panel. She spoke on the necessity for a company to have a diversity and inclusion council which has a clear objective, plan and proper mechanisms to measure and report the progress. Nirusha went on to further explain that whilst the composition of diversity includes more than gender diversity, it was encouraging to see that some employers in the country were looking at taking small steps to encourage greater female participation such as setting up creche operations in-house.

Carmen also joined in on the panel discussion, urging companies to pursue diversity and inclusion more strategically and in line with their business drivers; and in addition to a focus on the millennial market segment – also focus on the market of the elder population – a number that is increasing due to the ageing population in Sri Lanka. She cited IFC’s recent Sri Lanka Tackling Childcare report and suggested that IT companies further explore the business case for employer-supported childcare in the country to encourage parents (particularly mothers) to join and stay in the workforce.

After the panel discussion, five Fortudites pledged to embrace diversity and inclusion in the workplace, reflected by the launch of the ‘I AM DIVERSITY’ logo – a hand consisting of the five fingers that are diverse and work in unison towards one common goal. This was followed by the official digital launch of the initiative – which prompted a QR code on the screen, for employees to digitally pledge their support.

The event milestone is part of Fortude’s journey to establishing an impactful Diversity and Inclusion Council, further enabling diversity and inclusion across our global presence in the US, UK, Australia and Sri Lanka.

Related Posts

From insights to thought-leadership

View More

Making the most of your data with Infor-Ephesoft integration

Businesses generate mountains of data throughout the supply chain and at various customer and partner touchpoints. Leveraging these data is one of the critical goals for enterprises driven by innovation and as it helps them be more competitive, productive, and digital.

Finance & Accounting Guide: Enhancing productivity and accelerating processes with IDM Capture

The finance and accounting departments and processes are among the most critical and essential functions of a business. However, multiple studies indicate that about 50% of organizations are still wrangling their data manually.

6 ways how Ephesoft accelerates data entry to your Infor solution

Our latest blog post covers six reasons why enterprises should implement IDM Capture, an add-on developed by Ephesoft and Infor that leverages ML, AI, OCR, and ICR to capture, process, classify, extract, and validate data from multiple sources.

Post-pandemic fashion manufacturing: Essential technology for the manufacturer

In my previous blog series I discussed how fashion companies could adapt to meet the challenges of the new normal. For the most part, I focused on brands, but the same principles apply to fashion manufacturing. In this blog post, let’s focus on how manufacturers can adapt to the new normal by achieving visibility and collaboration with the right software.

Post-pandemic fashion manufacturing: Bridging the East-West divide

Twenty years ago, I started my career at an Asian apparel manufacturer. Tech-packs would come in from big brands from the US and Europe. We would gather in meeting rooms late into the night, deciphering the documents and pulling together a sample as best we could. If the sample was approved, we would confirm delivery dates to the brand six months in advance.

Is moving to the cloud the secret to a more sustainable supply chain?

Corporate sustainability is increasingly becoming a differentiator of business performance and financial success. Not only will sustainability help the planet recover from the harm that has been inflicted by aggressive industrialization, but it will also add value to your brand by attracting eco-conscious customers who demand green products.