Empowering Women at Hambantota International Port

Hambantota International Port Group is a Public Private Partnership and a Strategic Development Project between the Government of Sri Lanka and China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPort). It is incorporated as a private limited liability company under the laws of Sri Lanka. HIPG’s parent company CMPort is the largest and globally competitive public port developer, investor, and operator in China with investments in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and overseas, resulting in a port network portfolio spanning 50 ports and Terminals in 26 countries and 6 continents.

Harnessing the resources of the Government of Sri Lanka, as well as the global standing of China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPort) in a Public Private Partnership, Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) is well-positioned to play a pivotal role in the global business arena. Located ten nautical miles from a global shipping route linking the Far-East with the West, Hambantota International Port is Sri Lanka’s most diversified deep-water, multi- purpose port. It offers a comprehensive range of services for the shipping industry, with a focus on new technologies and environmentally sustainable practices, in keeping with the latest advances in the maritime sector.

Opening New Doors for Growth and Change

As the second largest port in Sri Lanka, HIPG (Hambantota International Port) has prioritized diversity and inclusion allowing more female staff participation within its workforce from the beginning of its operations, challenging the historically male-dominated nature of the port industry.

Recognizing the underrepresentation of females in the port industry, HIPG has implemented targeted recruitment strategies to create a more inclusive work environment. This has resulted in 17% female participation marking highest female contribution in the port industry when compared with the other companies operate in same industry within Sri Lanka.

Following figures reflects HIPG’s ongoing efforts in recruiting and developing female employees to be a key contributing factor in the organization.

HIPG recognizes the importance of gender diversity in creating a dynamic and innovative workplace. Through targeted initiatives and inclusive policies, HIPG has actively promoted the recruitment, retention, and career advancement of female employees across all departments. Our recruitment strategy has successfully attracted a majority of female employees from the port region, which includes Hambantota, Galle, Matara, Rathnapura, and Monaragala. Through this approach HIPG has provided more employment opportunities for women residing in the port region.

Notably, female employees are represented in all key functions, including, Operations, Energy Services, Engineering and Technology Management, Marine Services and Fleet Management, Commercial and Marketing, Port Investment Services, Security, Quality, Health, Safety and Environment departments.

Empowering Women at (HIPG)
–Pictures from the Women’s Day Celebration 2022 —

Uplifting Capabilities with No Bias

HIPG places significant emphasis on training and development and various training programs are conducted regularly to equip employees with the knowledge and skills specially focusing on Port and Shipping Industry. HIPG ensures equal opportunities for all female employees to participate in these training programs, thereby fostering a culture of inclusivity. Recognizing the unique challenges and opportunities faced by female employees, HIPG conducts specialized training programs tailored to their needs. Following are some recent programs conducted only specially for women at HIP.

(“Self-Impression is Power” Training Program)
(Uplifting Mental and Physical Wellbeing )

At HIPG, the commitment to honoring and empowering women in the workplace extends far beyond mere recognition. Every year on International Women’s Day, HIPG takes proactive steps to celebrate the achievements and well-being of its female employees with meaningful initiatives.

HIPG also offers executive development programs aimed at enhancing leadership skills and professional excellence among employees. Examples include the “Be a Smart Professional” and “Bringing out the Best in You” training programs, which provide employees with the tools and strategies to excel in their roles. Female employees actively participate in these programs, further demonstrating HIPG’s commitment to empowering women in leaders HIPG positions and fostering their professional growth and development.

Level Playing Field for Everyone

At HIPG, we are dedicated to fostering a workplace culture that prioritizes gender equality and supports the advancement of female employees. As a responsible corporate entity, we consistently strive to provide equal opportunities across all levels of our organization.

One of our core principles is ensuring equal consideration for internal promotions and recognition. We believe in creating a fair and inclusive environment where every employee, regardless of gender, has the opportunity to thrive and grow professionally. In alignment with our commitment to non-discrimination, our pay policy upholds an equal pay system. We firmly believe that fair compensation is not determined by gender but by qualifications, skills, experience, performance and contributions to the company’s objectives.

Furthermore, we structure job roles thoughtfully to promote gender equality. By defining responsibilities and expectations clearly and transparently, we empower female employees to excel in their roles and contribute meaningfully to our company’s success.

Creating a Conducive Environment for Females

HIPG is dedicated to fostering a workplace where female employees are empowered and supported through a range of policies and procedures designed to enhance their professional experience and well-being.

Our commitment to creating a supportive environment for female employees is reflected in our women-friendly policies and procedures, which have contributed significantly to our high retention rate among women. These initiatives are crafted to ensure that every female employee feels valued and respected within our organization. HIPG has implemented stringent rules and regulations to prevent and address any form of discrimination or harassment, thereby maintaining a safe and respectful workplace environment. This proactive stance has been instrumental in cultivating a positive atmosphere where female employees can excel and thrive. As the first port company in Sri Lanka accredited with ISO 9001, 14001, and 45001 standards, HIPG places a strong emphasis on the health and safety of its workforce. We adhere strictly to Sri Lankan labor laws and regulations, ensuring compliance and setting a benchmark for industry standards. In addition to complying with statutory maternit leave provisions, HIPG goes beyond by offering additional leave benefits and flexible work options tailored to meet the diverse needs of our employees, including female staff. These proactive policies and procedures have created a respectful and supportive environment for female employees at HIPG.

Going Beyond the Company to Support the Community

HIPG is dedicated to advancing its ESG strategy through impactful initiatives aimed at supporting women entrepreneurs. Aligned with our ESG objectives, HIPG has launched small business development projects specifically designed to uplift and empower women entrepreneurs in the area. These projects provide essential resources to enable women to establish and grow their businesses successfully. By fostering entrepreneurship, HIPG contributes to economic empowerment and sustainable development within the community. Through partnerships and collaborative efforts, we provide resources, equipment, and expertise aimed at improving knowledge, skills and sportsmanship among the female students around Hambantota area.

Looking forward, HIPG remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing gender equality and empowering women in the workplace. The company understands that by investing in its female workforce, it is not only investing in its own future but also contributing to a more inclusive and equitable society.