On the last day of the Maritime Week 2018, held at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Balaclava, WILAT (Women in Logistics and Transport) organised a session on ‘Embracing transport and logistics for economic prosperity and women empowerment’. International experts such as Maggie Heraty, Dato Sharifah Halimah Syed Ahmad and Nozipho Mdawe were present.
The main themes of this workshop were:
- The Maritime sector in Malaysia – Does gender diversity exist at the management level of the seaport? – Malaysia case
- Transport and logistics as a tool for economic prosperity and women’s empowerment,
- Women engagement in logistics and transport
Mentoring: A powerful tool for personal development and empowerment for women. The Loreto College of Port-Louis participated in this workshop. The Chairperson of WILAT Mauritius, Nazeema Jaulim-Seelarbokus, reveals that it is an opportunity to have international speakers and they are sharing their experiences related to mentoring programmes in their respective countries.
She even shared that WILAT will be collaborating with them as in Mauritius, we don’t have a well structured programme on mentorship. The chairperson states that there are job prospects in the sector such as freight forwarding agents, supporting officers and technicians.
Maggie Heraty : “Transport is a vital element”
Transport and logistics consultant Maggie Heraty emphasized on three key elements of a country’s development and prosperity. She explained that maritime transport is essential and a key tool for a good economy. “Transport is a vital element in the chain of global trade. Good logistics is essential for business and trade and the empowerment of women is essential in development. Education, Economic and Political empowerment of women will ensure the expansion in the field of transport and logistics.”
She believes that good public transport improves access to employment of all kinds. “Women are more dependent on public transport than men. So there should be more consultations and planning to identify their needs.”
Nozipho Mdawe : “Women have limited access to empowerment”
Secretary General of the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PAMESA), Nozipho Mdawe put much emphasis on mentoring. She believes that mentoring is a powerful tool for personal development. “Women face the daily challenges of being underemployed and undervalued. Besides, women have limited access to empowerment.” She states that if women are empowered, it will help not only to build a nation but also it will have macroeconomic benefits. She states that women in leadership should create awareness, create capacity, nurture talent and personal mastery.
Dato Sharifah Halimah Syed Ahmad : “We have to work against the glass ceiling”
WILAT Asia Forum Convenor, Dato Sharifah Halimah Syed Ahmad is from Malaysia. She talked more about gender diversity in the transport and logistics sector. She believes that the male has since long secured their position and now it is time for the female to do so. “We have to work against glass ceiling. It is time to focus more on our strengths but at the same time to identify our weaknesses.”
Women in Logistics and Transport (WILAT) was launched in June 2013 to promote the industry to female members and to encourage and support their career development. By June 2014, WILAT had over 1,600 members in 14 countries and is still growing.
The vision of WILAT is to be the most sought after for advocacy, professionalism and empowerment of women in Supply Chain, Logistics and Transport. Much emphasis was placed on promoting the status of women in Logistics and Transport, to bring together those who support talent and career development of women and to provide a support network and mentoring opportunities for women in the sector.