Pelwatte Dairy Industries recently came to the fore in devoting to a timely social endeavor by empowering more than 100+ plus women led families and more than 1200 women employed in the dairy industry. In keeping up with its vision of diversity and inclusion in workplace, Pelwatte initiated several projects together with World Vision International supporting women in rural communities. The projects included training sessions on farm milk collection, automation, digitalization and agripreneurship activities.
Pelwatte practices a non-discriminatory employer policy and offers equal pay and flexible work rosters for both men and women while paying special attention for women’s needs. The company has been offering opportunities to milk suppliers and dairy farmers within the growing workforce of auxiliary industries that are been nurtured.
Mr Harshan, the Human Resources Manager at Pelwatte Diary Industries assured that “In a vividly male saturated industry, we ensure that Pelwatte remains an equal opportunity employer while looking into ways to fit in at least 25% of females in our leaderboards and senior management by end of 2024. Our development initiatives, field officers and our community managers have been truly supportive in achieving our vision and plans.”
Pelwatte Industries joined forces with World Vision International (WVI) in several projects to empower women. Pelwatte together with WVI donated cattle to women-led families while helping to establish cattle sheds and fodder production centres. WVI’s Dairy Development Project focuses on increasing quality of milk production and productivity of small-scale dairy farmers. The Project builds capacity through technical training, business training and increasing knowledge in milk handling and cattle management. The project has established producer groups and provided necessary infrastructure with cooling facilities. As part of this project, all milk-based industries in Nuwara Eliya district will be trained with necessary knowledge on how to increase productivity by using latest technologies in milk production.
Pelwatte is a truly Sri Lankan brand which has been engaging in fostering an inclusive society with equal opportunities for women. Initiatives such as encouraging the use of Pelwatte’s parental leave program, empowering and supporting women to become potential senior executives, improving gender balance and ensuring progress are major highlights in Pelwatte’s journey to harness good work place ethics. Pelwatte has provided equal pay opportunities and pioneered in addressing gender pay gaps in its efforts to support women.
Mr Harshan added, ‘’ From under-representation and a lack of equal pay in business management to restricted access to training, tools and finance for agricultural workers, women continue to face challenges in their workplaces. Building gender equality and supporting women’s rights, education and empowerment are critical to creating a shared value for our business. We will continue to tackle challenges faced by women and ensure that they have equal opportunities as men.”
Mrs. Shakshila, who has been in the company for 11 years, serving as a Senior Quality Assurance Manager said “I started working at Pelwatte Dairy Industries 11 years ago as a microbiologist and served as an Assistant Quality Assurance Manager and then as a Manager before holding this position. I am the only women in my department, but the colleagues and the cultural structure as a whole have been quite supportive. As a part of my job, I am assigned with frequent field visits, even during late evenings, yet I’ve always felt safe and composed. I have been given the roster of my choice and I’m quite happy about this friendly atmosphere.”
Pelwatte ensures a safer work place for everyone in its efforts to uplift women. The company requires all employees to follow clearly defined, behavioral standards to eliminate any form of verbal or physical harassment or discrimination in workplace.