Education, Jobs, and Youth

So Sri Lanka; More like, So Where are all the Women in the Hotel Industry?

Despite its growing importance, women are highly underrepresented in Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, with females accounting for less than 10% of the workforce. Moreover, female enrollment in hotel schools in Sri Lanka is disturbingly low. These figures do not bode well in the context of a growing sector and the country’s already low female labour force participation rate. Within Sri Lanka’s hospitality sector, men are found to outnumber women in all occupational categories, except for Guest Relations and Front Office staff and Marketing functions. Thus, attracting more women into the sector will help to address the growing labour shortage, a crucial deterrent to the industry’s growth.

Girls in STEM: How is Sri Lanka Faring?

Sri Lanka appears to do relatively well in terms of gender representation in the broad field of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. However, significant gender differences in enrollments exist within STEM fields. In the context of an upcoming technology-driven Fourth Industrial Revolution, being equipped with STEM-related skills will be increasingly important to survive in the future labour market, argues Ashani Abayasekara.

When Tea and Sympathy is not Enough… A Living Wage for Sri Lanka’s Plantation Workers

A study by IPS and GLWC examined the living wage for tea pluckers in Sri Lanka, to act as a catalyst for action throughout the value chain to raise wages towards a living wage. Here, the estimated gross living wage was Rs. 23,785 per month in January 2019. This blog argues that the prevailing wage of these workers has to be raised by at least Rs. 3,055 (15%) to reach the living wage level.

The New Oil of the 21st Century: Sri Lanka’s Need for Data Scientists

The term ‘data scientist’ did not exist a little more than a decade ago. However, with the increasing rate of technological progress, the term “data scientist” is now casually thrown around in the tech realm. This blog argues that developing more data scientists can help Sri Lanka not only develop local businesses, but also earn foreign exchange.

South Asia’s Trajectory through Innovations and Disruptions in the 4IR

The primary issue that arose at the plenary on ‘Promoting Innovation and Disruption in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)’, at the 12th South Asia Economic Summit (SAES XII), organised by the IPS, was the role of disruption in the status quo. The panel deliberated on whether governments and corporations should embrace and utilise disruption despite its drawbacks, or regulate extensively to curb it.