With over 60 years of excellence, DFCC bank is today, the bank for everyone, providing holistic financial products and services to all Sri Lankans. The brand is backed by a unique heritage, which has evolved and diversified to meet ever-changing needs and aspirations. Working hard to uphold the DFCC legacy and be positioned as the bank for everyone, DFCC Bank’s leadership and management teams are comprised of inspiring women across various disciplines of expertise which includes HR, Marketing & Sustainability, Credit, Finance, etc; in addition to the core business areas.
Let’s get to know the senior women leadership team at DFCC Bank who have diligently contributed towards furthering the Bank’s aspirations while inspiring their female as well as male counterparts with whom they interact.
as a fellow accountant and colleague, Chinthika Amarasekara, having over 25 years of experience in the field of finance and currently holding the position of Chief Financial Officer of DFCC Bank PLC, perceives women’s leadership in the financial sector as positive evolvement. Chinthika herself persevered to establish herself as a leading personality in the predominantly male-dominated field of finance, powering through the many challenges she faced.
“Over time, the benefits of diversity in leadership and decision-making are increasingly recognized in all spheres. If women are meaningfully represented and engaged in leadership decisions, they are more likely to be inclusive and representative on their own. Companies have become progressively inclined to understand the value of female leaders, which has led them to consider gender diversity in their structures. This has mainly influenced female leadership to come to light in many male-dominated sectors, including finance.”
Starting her corporate journey as a management trainee, Sonali Jayasinghe is now the Head of the Human Resource sector for approximately 8 years at DFCC. Whilst working towards furthering the cause of gender diversity within DFCC, she ensures rules and regulations combined with human resource management are carefully formulated, to maintain a fairground of equality and gender diversity. Governed by the supervision and participation of Sonali and her team, policies, processes and practices related to HR are well adopted without any disparity or favouritism. Maintaining the trust of their clients and employees is prioritized largely by the institution, as Sonali, who stands as a loyal employee, vows to further this progressive cause by giving her fullest contribution in encouraging women’s leadership.
“DFCC is an equal opportunity employer. We have about 29% of leadership positions equipped by our female staff, and we hope to expand this number as we look into incorporating many policies, especially catering to female employees. As we try to understand the social pressure women have when it comes to furthering their careers, we have conducted programs such as “Empower her” to encourage our women to take up leadership positions in our institute, confidently. “
While encouraging the women with potential, Sonali emphasizes that DFCC has taken extra measures to look after their female employees as well. As with the establishment of “Reach out,” a specialized committee looking out to any concerns their female employees face or to provide any advice they seek, DFCC has taken a revolutionary step in empowering empathetic leaders, such as Sonali, to contribute more to the betterment of their careers. While Sonali contributes her best to balance the external and internal conflicts of the female employees at DFCC, she looks forward to guiding her team with resistance through the many changes of the post-pandemic era.
Driving the Bank’s Sustainability Strategy is Nilmini Gunaratne Vice President / Head of Marketing & Sustainability at DFCC Bank. A female whose experience extends across numerous industries in marketing strategy and corporate communications, Nilmini aims to steer the DFCC Brand towards achieving its sustainability goals through its comprehensive “sustainability is now a way of life” concept, across the organization.
DFCC Bank considers sustainability a crucial aspect of its business model and ethos, giving prominence to environmental, social, and governance factors in all of the Bank’s operations. The Bank developed a formal, 10-year strategic plan for sustainability, to guide the Bank’s sustainability initiatives till 2030. A key player in ensuring that the Bank follows this plan, Nilmini expresses that the Bank’s commitment to sustainability is integrated into its business planning and operations and that the bank’s “Sustainability Vision” is to be the leading bank contributing towards sustainability by 2030.
According to Nilmini, sustainability is a broad policy concept in the global public discourse and is often conceived of in terms of three “dimensions” or “pillars”; environmental, economic, and social. Women can contribute effectively across these pillars, and Nilmini believes that sustainability must go beyond rhetoric, supported by a structured approach that enables quantifiable tractability of progress against clearly defined KPIs.
“DFCC Bank believes in developing a sustainability-oriented work culture that values collaboration, empowerment, inclusivity, and diversity as strengths. Women are already playing and will continue to play an increasingly important part in our sustainability journey as employees of the bank and will continue to do so through the six (6) cross-cutting themes identified under the banks’ sustainability strategy which are Education, Elderly, Entrepreneurship, Environment, Emergency relief & Exercise.
In line with its Sustainability Policy, the Bank’s priority, with regard to sustainability, is “to contribute towards a resilient Sri Lanka”. In this regard, Nilmini says that that DFCC Bank expects significant contribution from women, particularly with regard to two of the three key sustainability pillars: resilient business, contributing to sustainable economic growth as women entrepreneurs, and resilient communities, advancing sustainable workplaces and lifestyles as women in the corporate sector. With the accumulated strength of leadership from such a network of spirited women, DFCC Bank looks forward to staying true to its purpose, while progressively adapting to the many changes and challenges of the modern world, with the robust hope of furthering women’s empowerment, gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow.
Joining hands with her colleague, Shera Hassen looks forward to guiding many female entrepreneurs to start new ventures. Being the Vice president and the Head of Pinnacle, Shera leads the “DFCC Aloka” proposition rewinding the 25 years’ experience in the banking sector. As she stands as a corporate woman of excellence within the empowering institute of DFCC, she shares a gist of the DFCC Aloka Concept. “DFCC Aloka caters to a large majority of only female clients, ranging from startup-entry-level employees to high-level, experienced professionals and business owners, who constantly ensures that their clients’ needs are met with astute care and precision”. Looking into a purpose unbounded by monetary terms, DFCC Aloka, under the leading presence of Shera, provides many benefits, resolving several matters of financial management that, females usually come across in their career journeys.
“Under DFCC Aloka, management of personal accounts is systemized and personalized to fit the particular needs of the clients. Catering to entrepreneurs who move from a lower level to a higher level, DFCC Aloka provides special pricing and funding along with consultancy to develop their businesses. It need not be only entrepreneurs; we also cater to professionals like me, who have to balance both professional and personal responsibilities. We have tied up with many leading corporations such as Dialog, My Doc, etc. to provide our clients with a range of benefits. We also look into providing loans for female professionals to aid them with their higher studies and further their careers, hopefully on to a global level. “
Shera declares her dedication to furthering this cause as a leader and a personality who powers through the many challenges and a character that outperforms the excuses through solid time management and dedication.
Amanthi Balasooriya Dahanayake
The post-pandemic era has revolutionized the lifestyles of many women. Following novel trends, Amanthi Balasooriya Dahanayake, Vice President of Credit Risk Management Department of DFCC, emphasizes the importance of specialized services being catered to women in this progressive period.
“We see a lot of female entrepreneurs emerging post-covid, especially through social media. Women can now dedicate their time to developing their passions as businesses from the comfort of their homes. We stand to support them as a corporation, allocating separate services such as credit lines, especially catering to the upcoming line of women entrepreneurs.”
The world moves and changes to build the potential of many women who forgo their careers as they tend to choose their personal responsibilities over careers or passions. This sudden change has brought attention to the cruciality of the rightful services being established to support women looking to expand their contribution to the economy. As DFCC has seized this opportunity to enhance their rightful cause, Amanthi, with her excellent knowledge and 24 years at DFCC, looks forward to pioneering positive change on a stable platform of finance.
Offering her calculated outlook to measure and upkeep the prominent sector of finance in DFCC, Iresha Kumbukage has steadfastly contributed her best as the Head of the Credit Administration Department of DFCC for approximately 3 years. As a key function of the bank where loan disbursements, re-schedulements, security releases, and portfolio reporting are handled, countering the time-sensitive factor, Iresha leads this department with dedication and courage using her diverse experience as a professional. She expresses her high regard for women-led credit lines as being an integral resource for DFCC in maintaining their excellent services.
“We encourage the new wave of women’s entrepreneurship. Especially as a woman, I see the huge positive impact this has on a personal and professional level for women. I can see women having more flexibility where they could dedicate their time to both their businesses as well as their families. To encourage this, we always look to provide low-cost funding to overcome hurdles such as finding capital and covering the cost of capital, as DFCC stands to further their cause of empowering women.”
As Iresha exclaims her positive vote on the progressive culture that society is now acclaiming with the dawn of a new era,