1 rdonaldson ago09 by ITj2V9


									Women Facing Technological Advances
     and Automation in Ports

                                  Ms. Rosalie Donaldson
                                   Senior Vice President,
                International Marketing & Client Services
                           The Port Authority of Jamaica

                                       2009 August 17 - 21
The shipping industry like most others, did not
welcome women initially within its ranks and,
even today women have not been able to break
a number of glass ceilings in the maritime
sector. Indeed, in relation to many other
sectors there is still a considerable gender gap
in our industry. Of course one of the reasons
for that was the early socialisation and
development of the family wherein the woman
was in most societies expected to take care of
the domestic side of matters in the household.
Eventually women would draw closer to
the heart of the industry, working in the
offices of ships’ agents and becoming
indispensible to those operations as they
mastered and became responsible for
ensuring that much of the details and daily
routine of those offices were carried out
well. Their managers became increasingly
dependent on them.
On one level these women are drawn to the
sea in order to escape the limitations and
boundaries they’ve experienced on land, yet
oftentimes come face-to-face with challenges
of sexism and abuse, precisely because they
are breaking new ground.

As more women have entered the maritime
industry, there have been slow strides towards
acceptance and change—and opportunity for
It has been said that anyone who ever spent a
midnight shift at a busy container terminal knows
that the maritime industry is more computerized,
mechanized and programmed, than it is
adventurous. There are demanding productivity
quotas for off-loading containers and turning ships
around in as little time as possible.

Considering the fact that in many countries women
outnumber men involved in acquiring tertiary
education, it would seem that there is a firm basis
from which more women should be attracted to the
maritime sector.
     Women Executives in the Maritime Industry
               in the Phillipines
Operations   Administration & Finance   Senior Management   Other


             31%                            36%

However, with the demand of international
standards in the maritime industry, the skill
gap that needs to be addressed is their
technical deficiency. Although they tried to
address the problem by attending related
trainings and seminars, still this can’t be
accounted for as an effective performance in
the technical aspect.    Many respondents
considered that they are not equipped to
handle technical endeavours because of their
academic preparation or lack of maritime

1. More women must be encouraged to attend
   Maritime Institutions and avail themselves of
   more technical knowledge pertaining to the

2. Women with potential and who excel in
   positions of leadership at lower levels, must be
   encouraged and given the opportunity to
   strengthen their qualifications for upward
3. Problems on stereotyping, discrimination and
   male misconceptions on women’s capability
   in handling high responsibility job should be
   given attention and focus.

4. Top managers, particularly male executives,
   should be encouraged to attend Gender and
   Development trainings and participate in
   related activities for greater awareness on
   women’s rights and privileges.
 In the final analysis it is education that will
 determine the success of the efforts of all our
 countries in 2015 regarding the eradication or
 drastic reduction of poverty at both the individual
 and country levels.

  Equality of access to and attainment of
  educational qualification are necessary if more
  women are to become empowered in the general
  labour market and in our own industry.
Women have nothing to fear about the increasing
use of technology in the maritime sector. We have
long proved our adaptability and acumen. It is for
us to ensure that many more of our numbers are
exposed to the relevant training that will equip us
well as shipping goes more high tech.

We now have examples of breakthroughs by
women into positions which would be unheard of
some time ago with sisters being appointed
Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, the
largest container port in the USA, and Head of the
Port Authority of Maryland.

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