Anuradha Wickramasinghe, Head of People at International Distillers Ltd, focuses on contributing the best she has to offer in terms of skills and efficiency. In order to achieve this excellence, she relies on an approach that is centred around dedication and resourcefulness to complete her duties. Having been exposed to many roles from a very young age, Anuradha carries herself with pride as she strides forward to constantly improve herself as an individual who can deliver the best in the many roles she fulfils. The heroine of the story manages to balance her personal life, education and professional life around the same timeframe while she has managed to climb the steep heights with care and establish herself as a shining light that shines high for many aspiring corporate women.

“At the age of as early as 22, I was a working woman, a wife, a mom, and a university student too. It has indeed been a tough journey, but I was very ambitious since my small days. By now, I have over 20 years of experience, leading HR in diversified industries, largely in the apparel industry, while achieving many important milestones in my personal life such as completing the initial degree in BCom, the second Bsc- majoring in HRM & a Master of Business Administration.  I would say I am a proud mom to two well-brought-up daughters and a very grateful wife.”

This journey stands as an illuminating example of how one can do it all if one approaches their goal with dedication, determination, and persistence. Carrying her strong experience of 20 years in the corporate world, Anuradha continues to encourage the many around her to undertake an approach that fits their individuality and continue to improve it with uniqueness, without drowning themselves in society’s unrealistic expectations. It is her firm belief that having a strong individuality can contribute immensely in a positive manner as one tries to achieve their target.

“Throughout my career, I never have felt discriminated against based on gender. Maybe because I have not allowed myself to feel discriminated against.  I would always be more focused on doing my part of the responsibilities right and improving myself every day than getting distracted by the things like gender discrimination and office politics.”

Placing her strong individuality as the foundation to build her career, Anuradha consistently continues to build up her trade skills and has built a solid commitment and passion for the field of human resources which lead her to be recognized by the International Women Icon as “Outstanding HR” in 2021. 

“HR world is the best place to be a woman. We as women innate key HR skills, I am not suggesting that men don’t have these skills, but we, women, do have a tremendous amount of empathy, Compassion & emotional intelligence. Understanding the strength vs. weaknesses and aspirations of every individual that you work with, ability to focus on what makes your team motivated & use that as a key “factor” to build stronger relationships, leading with Compassion, Empathy, Fairness while managing own energy effectively are essential skills for a HR professional”

Anuradha also emphasizes the importance of catering to develop unity and teamwork in the workplace, where anyone and everyone can feel comfortable with their personalities.

While dedicating herself to fulfilling the many responsibilities, Anuradha also emphasizes the importance of simultaneous growth. With a mindset that is always open to growth and development, fueling the inner confidence to get out of one’s comfort zone will greatly contribute to overcoming the inner struggles of insecurity, which will help to successively overcome any external challenges thrown at one.

“Never say “NO” to career growth and development or to those roles outside the comfort zone, Complicated tasks, complex responsibilities. significant role changes in our personal lives shouldn’t in any way affect our long-term plans to grow more in our profession. Life doesn’t have to stop. I am talking about “marriage”, being a “mom”, or any other important aspect. After all, life is all about balance. Work can be 2nd on the list. But it doesn’t have to be completely taken down. Balance is the key. “

With her strong-willed mindset and dedicated passion, Anuradha looks forward to her future with hope and trust to see growth in the overall structure of corporate as it evolves into a more inclusive structure that allows anyone to develop themselves to a level of elite professionalism based on their ability and dedication. Times have changed, and with that, women or men are no longer restricted to a gender-based structure and are allowed to flourish as unique individuals. With the new developments and the progressive mindset society is now moving towards, she notices the potential to grow more and more in the corporate world, despite one’s gender identification.

“In recent years, I have seen an improvement in women’s leadership in the private sector. Most companies have started to consider gender balance very seriously. However, it is good to see more ladies stepping into the C-Suite in future. Women in leadership must become so common that it doesn’t have to be labelled as “Women leadership” anymore. The “big one” is the authenticity that you could bring to work, which includes your feminine energy. Pay attention to the key strengths that set you apart and don’t understate the value of your unique point of difference. Confidence will shine through if you are clear on your purpose and what you want to achieve. “

Anuradha quoted, “Every role is a reflection of the person who performs it, so autographs it with excellence.” and with this excellence comes the responsibility to share, service, and cater to others so they can be the best versions of themselves. As the Head of People, Anuradha Wickramasinghe shines bright with a strong-willed philosophy and a dedicated passion to support and cheer for the other women in her tribe as they rise, shine and aspire to be more with commitment, dedication and balance.