BreakTheBias: APM Terminals women speak on gender equality
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action from both men and women for accelerating gender parity.
In APM Terminals Nigeria we want to forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias. We must step up and be aware of the significant impact that bias has on women’s equality – both conscious and unconscious bias. We need to recognize it and call it out!
Women in the APM Terminals leadership team in Nigeria are reflecting on the importance of breaking the bias and their leadership experience.
Uzoma Ben-Ude, HR Business Partner, APM Terminals Nigeria
I am personally excited because this is done all over the world and the themes and messages for each year go round the world significantly increasing the focus on women and empowering women to know that they can break any glass ceilings above them and be the best they can be in their chosen field of endeavour. As women come together to celebrate the IWD, they draw strength from each other and get practical information of how other women have faced similar challenges as they currently face and have progressed in their lives and careers.
In APM Terminals Nigeria we are increasing the participation of women in leadership roles and technical roles. This development has stamped the presence of women in positions that are male dominated and is a journey of embracing more diversity in terms of gender and placing women in roles where they can contribute even more. I am looking forward to seeing more women become Shift Managers, Planning Managers, Gate Managers, Security Managers and deliver outstanding performance in these roles!
Chinenye Deinde, GM – Legal and Corporate Affairs, APM Terminals Nigeria
To me, IWD represents celebration of the progress and giant strides women have taken over the years to break the glass ceiling of bias and limitation and gain a place on the table. This year’s IWD is particularly special for me because I see female success stories all around – not only within the Terminal but also at state and national level. These stories encourage me to keep showing up and bring my best to the table because I too can make a difference.
APM Terminals is indeed breaking the bias and making significant progress in diversity and inclusion. This can be seen in the number of women who have been assigned strategic leadership roles both at Terminal, Country, Regional and even Global level. This is truly encouraging and it reinforces my belief in the Maersk Group as an equal opportunity employer that truly celebrates excellence without focus on gender. These opportunities are also a challenge to us as women to keep the torch of excellence lighted by bringing value to the organisation and making sure that our diversity indeed strengthens the community positively!
Adebisi Awodire, People Partner, APM Terminals/WACT
#Breakthebias is very significant, goal-driven, timely and apt for APM Terminals/WACT. At the center of our ongoing full transformation agenda is the clamour and intensified efforts towards higher women involvement in terminal operations. From employee engagement perspective, the past few months have witnessed a paradigm shift with a renewed and intentional focus on more women inclusion, this time – even in yard operations. In addition to the few women working in supportive capacities at the terminal, we currently have 9 female RTG operators. This welcome development is not just inspiring but reassuring for other women on the possibilities out there, if only they can make the conscious decision to #breakthebias, not alone, but together.
I am used to seeing women assume high ranking positions in the bank, politics, government, medicine, teaching, but a monster container machine operator in APM Terminals/WACT? That is huge for me; seeing Fubara Ibiso mount that RTG with so much control as the first female operator of the machine in Eastern Nigeria, felt so good. A feat not for the faint hearted, I was proud. It sure feels lonely on this side of the business, so it’s exciting to have ladies rarely come in to function in different capacities, but a fellow woman manning that machine was extra for me. I can only imagine what chances exist for other women who are ready to make history, because there is absolutely no barrier to our capabilities!
Chinyere Adenaike, Procurement Manager, APM Terminals Apapa
I see women in Legal, HR, Commercials, IT, Procurement, WoW & Transformation, Crane Operations etc. I am looking to also see them with tools fixing our equipment; rolling under 4-wheeled vehicles to troubleshot; having greasy-nails and being part of our asset maintenance transformation journey or being part of our Fleet Drivers. This to me would further be break the barrier women face and how much more in an oriental culture where girls are mostly brought up to serve their husbands and children. That in itself is not wrong but women can do so much more. Women are intellectual beings with so great potentials to create, contribute, or lead communities & organisations!
I share some proud moments when I see my fellow women mount our Reach Stackers and RTGs at shift start. These women are surrounded by men yet they maintain the confidence and professionalism to deliver on their jobs! Sometime I feel we should actually film them while on duty and send to their families to see how their daughters, sisters, wives, or mothers are breaking gender barriers right here.
Do not under any circumstances trade competence for gender in a recruitment, but when faced with two compelling candidates, one being male and the other female, give the female a chance as she doesn’t have as much chances as her male counter-parts in her chosen profession.
People leaders should be more humane in their interactions with their female colleagues especially those with children. Try to understand how the home front is and genuinely seek ways to support. When people feel cared for, there is a tendency to give their best.
In our community, let’s identify CSR initiatives that give the girl child an opportunity to operate on same level as her male counterparts. This could be scholarships or internship opportunities.
Olufisayo Bunmi Makinde, Regional D&A Services Lead, APM Terminals AMEA
I joined APM Terminals about 16 years ago and over the last years I have witnessed significant progress seeing the company continuously strive to build a more inclusive environment, which can be seen in the current demographics compared to what it was. I recall always being the only female in the planning departments back in the days; now we have quite an handful. This is only achievable by intentionality and strategy at the top of the organization to recruit with diversity in mind and to respect and understand ethnic and cultural difference. This I believe is playing a significant role in the results that APM Terminals has recorded over the years.
I personally believe that regardless of the gender, whoever has the capability should get the role and capabilities is neither gender nor cultural based. I believe APM Terminals Nigeria has allowed qualified women take their space and place where they can perform. A good reflection of how well we have come on our diversity and inclusion journey is also seen now with more women putting their hands up against biases to take on challenging roles and embrace opportunities. Let’s go for it babes; we have all it takes to indeed take on more!
Temilade Ogunniyi, Commercial Manager, APM Terminals Apapa
This year is to challenge everyone to confront all bias against diversity. It provides us with the opportunities to intentionally review “What is being done and how much more has to be done to adopt diversity as a culture”.
Our female circles have more than doubled in the last two years, with a significant proportion of women in leadership roles, compared to previous years, demonstrating APM Terminals’ commitment to diversity.
Svetlana Erofeeva, Head of Strategy and Transformation, APM Terminals Apapa
For me, it is a great opportunity to celebrate differences. Differences allow us to take a broader perspective on things; they make us wiser as individuals and stronger as teams. It is crucial that we treat everyone with respect and fairness – irrespective of gender, nationality, religion or any other aspect that we might differ across – and we should not only do it on IWD, but every day!
APM Terminals Strategy of becoming Safer, Better and Bigger provides a guiding direction for all of us. While the terminal and shipping business historically has had more male employees, it is important that we continuously improve – and one of our People priorities is enhancing diversity and enabling equality. We should get better in spreading the word and making sure females learn more about our business and operations, and are aware of job opportunities and benefits of working with APM Terminals. We can only enhance more active female involvement by ensuring everyone has equal opportunities and is treated fairly!