De Werd: More Women Needed in Transport, Logistics

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Head of Marketing and Business Development, African Region of Maersk, Ms. Anita De Werd

The Head of Marketing and Business Development, African Region of Maersk, Ms. Anita De Werd, has advocated greater participation of women in the maritime and logistics sector.

De Werd said this in Lagos when Maersk hosted a group of young professional women in the maritime and logistics industry, as part of the company’s initiatives aimed at getting more women to participate and attain top managerial positions in the industry.

De Werd, who also led the young women professionals on a visit to APM Terminals Apapa, said Maersk chose to identify with young female professionals in the industry to enlighten them on its operations as the global integrator in container logistics and encourage them to build their careers in the sector.

She said, “It is important to have more women in the logistics and maritime industry especially in Africa where we have a lot of capable women. What I have seen is that for a lot of young professionals, it is difficult to find out what is happening in the industry, and how they can play a role that could be fitting in the capabilities and interests they have. So we have brought them together to sensitize them on who we are as a company and hope to ignite the interest of these young professionals,” she said.

She added, “We are constantly addressing how we can accommodate and make women professionals climb up the ladder and for them to also see the vision of reaching top management positions.

“A lot of household decisions are made by women and if we don’t bring different perspectives to the table, then we are creating products that may not be fit for market, especially because women are important decision makers.”

The Managing Director of APM Terminals, Apapa, Martin Jacob, who received the young women at the terminal, reiterated the company’s commitment to promoting gender diversity.

“The port industry is typically seen as a male dominated industry but we are trying and pushing to change that so that women can compete effectively with men,”he said.