As the renowned author, Helen Keller once stated, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Following the influence of these words, The Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC is steered with precise ministration on the path of excellence by Dr. Geethani Galagoda, Dr. Karthika Kathiresan, Dr. Devika Kasthuriarachchi and Matron Sheela Rajapaksha. As they strive to contribute their best in the individual roles they play in their organisation, their accumulative efforts stand as a bright light of inspiration for many aspiring women out there looking to carve out unique careers.
Dr. Geethani Galagoda, Head of Laboratories at Lanka Hospitals Diagnostics, has persevered in exceeding her expectations, which she claims is an undoubted reward for her unwavering dedication. She dedicated the initial years of her career to the government health service sector as a Consultant Medical Virologist. She moved into the private health sector, in the hope of sharing her expertise collected through 16 years of experience. While her goal was to be a specialist, her progressive and adaptive mindset allowed her to achieve things well beyond that, leading her to hold a leadership position in the Management of Lanka Hospitals.
“Have confidence in yourself. There is nothing that cannot be achieved. While working towards goal, cultivate independence. Empower yourself to do that and follow up by empowering others who strive on their unique journey as well. “
Nothing, in Geethani’s perspective, is more powerful than a woman-centred support system since women have the potential to comprehend one another on a deeper level than patriarchal society considers women to be. Geethani is an excellent illustration of how personal desire and enthusiasm for what you do can develop unique greatness that will help you endure through whatever problem society throws at you. This is essential in a progressive culture working toward overcoming the limitations of traditional society.
Holding the position of Assistant Director Medical Services at Lanka Hospitals, Dr. Karthika Kathiresan identifies herself as someone who always had determination towards anything she did. She started her career in the government sector and made a shift to the private sector by joining Lanka Hospitals. She climbed the career ladder gradually with a clear outlook and dedication towards her purpose as a doctor.
“The healthcare industry is one of the few industries where women represent an overwhelming majority. From nurses to doctors, we see a lot of women occupying many vital and critical positions in healthcare. But when it comes to leadership positions, they are significantly less represented. It is mostly due to the fact that women have to balance many types of commitments and, within that, pursuing a career can come as a challenge. I myself have had to face this challenge and still hope to persevere and eventually achieve the things I want to achieve. “
As a very determined person, becoming a doctor was something that Karthika wanted from her early days. Focusing on a path where she could contribute a valuable service to her community and where she could easily be independent, Karthika remains determined to grow more as a professional with integrity and care. A women’s natural strong instincts for personal commitment, she believes, might be a barrier to sticking to their corporate employers. This challenge should be tackled with care, and one should always look at things from a broader perspective. Karthika stands as a great example of how having a holistic view of your goal can help you achieve it more effectively.
“For the women who look at themselves as future leaders, first be courageous and be accountable for what you say and do. Secondly, don’t give any excuses. Be very open to challenges and don’t let anything restrict you. Do not think that womanhood is a hindrance to growth; instead, it is indeed a blessing, so respect that with your whole heart. “
Dr. Devika Kasthuriarachchi embodies these words of her colleague Karthika, as she has made her mark as the first female to hold the position of Head of Surgical Department at Lanka Hospitals. Devika has maintained her ground in the medical sector where the majority of leadership positions are occupied by males. She values her commitment in strategizing and prioritizing key deliverables without sacrificing her sense of empathy in a highly dynamic environment.
“I believe that if you are transparent and unbiased in your decisions while being efficient and focused, there is no need to be unnecessarily dominative and authoritative. All the people I work with are uniquely intelligent people, and I witness and believe that they are smart enough to give recognition to talent and personal skills without being gender-biased. As times are truly changing, women should not hesitate to come into positions of leadership or administration.”
Proud to be a part of an industry that deals with the responsibility of preserving health and wellness, Devika looks forward to the future with hope, towards a new era. She acknowledges that times have changed to allow a more justified approach to breaking the tight grip of patriarchy. And within that change, she plays a role in paving the way forward as she leads her team with precision and care.
Agreeing on this concept and following the footpath created on the basis of strong womanhood, Matron Sheela Rajapaksha holds an impressive span of experience as a career woman. With a professional portfolio offering her services in the Sri Lanka army for 22 years, followed by her 19+ years of experience at Lanka Hospitals as a Chief Matron, she has dedicated herself to serving others, powering through the many challenges that she has faced, especially as a woman.
Sheela carries out her duties with empathy, contributing to her organisation with a motherly sense. She believes that it is important to perceive the members of the team at Lanka Hospitals as a family and not merely as colleagues and sub-ordinates. In her opinion, assisting her staff with the motivation to carry out their duties should also come with a deep personal understanding of the members of her staff. Despite the fact that this methodology requires twice as much work, Sheela persists, and Lanka Hospitals now has an efficiently functioning nursing staff that is managed under her leadership.
“I don’t see leadership as a top seat in a hierarchy. It is rather a calling that can be powered by one’s attitude. As a leader, it is always important to think with a mentality that centres around your team and empowers, protects and guides them. Always listening to your staff with care and understanding is needed, especially as a female nursing leader. “
Setting an example of strength, dedication and determination, these empowering women have steered the course of Lanka Hospitals without sacrificing the remarkably unique traits of womanhood. And as women look on to a hopeful future in this new era of revolutionary transformation, let diversity, equitability and inclusivity be valued and celebrated so that women can stand with pride, embracing their individuality and passion towards all that they commit towards in life.