May 20, 2024

Breakbulk Middle East to promote women’s effective participation in the industry

 Breakbulk Middle East to promote women’s effective participation in the industry

The event will feature women leaders offering valuable insights to aspiring female professionals and support the development of the industry.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – 16th January 2022: Breakbulk Middle East (BBME), the region’s largest breakbulk and project cargo event, will host the ‘Women in Breakbulk Breakfast, as part of its commitment to increase female participation.

The forum will feature top female executives, who will discuss ways to overcome challenges they face in the sector. They will also offer insights and tips to aspiring female professionals on how they can move up the ladder and change the male-dominated narrative within the maritime, project cargo and breakbulk industry.

Due to be held under the patronage of the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI), on the 1st and 2nd of February at the Dubai World Trade Centre, BBME will bring together professionals including women from different sectors, enabling end-to-end supply chain dialogue.

Encouraging women’s participation

Facilitating female participation in the dialogue about the future of the sector is essential for the development of the segment. By focusing on women leaders in the through the Women in Breakbulk Leadership Forum, the primary aim of BBME is to bridge the gender gap in the breakbulk and project cargo industry. It further aims to attract some of the brightest young female talents in this key segment.

H.E. Eng. Hessa Al Malek, Advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport, Affairs, the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure said, “In a fundamentally male-dominated profession, we have seen quite a few women leaders rise to top management positions and even start their own ventures. This has largely been due to their individual efforts but also due to the support they have received. The UAE provides females equal opportunities as men to follow their dreams and establish their careers in the fields they choose. In line with our vision, I believe that Breakbulk Middle East has maintained an active role in inclusion of females through the Women in Breakbulk initiative, where aspiring professionals can witness first-hand the success stories of their counterparts.”

Eng. Nawal Yousef Alhanaee, Director of the Future Energy Department, UAE’s Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure said, “Closing the gender gap is of utmost priority to enhance the business landscape. Introducing young female professionals to successful women in the sector will encourage them to be more enthusiastic about their field because they can envision themselves as top leaders one day. Breakbulk Middle East has introduced a wonderful platform to facilitate discussions on how the industry can encourage young women to choose a career in the sector. This will help develop local talent in the Middle East and create better organisational structures for the future generations.”

Women in leadership

A 2021 survey conducted by Gartner Inc shows that women comprise 41% of the supply chain workforce in 2021, up from 39% in 2020. According to the survey, every leadership level saw an increase in representation, except the executive level that witnesses a slight decline. In 2021, women accounted for 15% of executive level roles, down from 17% in 2020.

Sanaz Taransari, Managing Director, Seaport UAE said, “Previously women didn’t have much access to technical careers, however today with greater access to education and with enhanced awareness, women are much more inclined to take up careers in the technical field because they have started to realise that such careers are not exclusively for men. A lot to do with their success also depends on the environment they are in, and here in the UAE, they have the freedom to pick their careers. Breakbulk Middle East is doing a fabulous job at helping women that want a career in the logistics and supply chain industry and accelerating their growth.”

Katherine Yakunchenkova, General Manager, Al Safina Security said, “Women have always contributed to all aspects of our industry through various roles but very rarely at executive levels. Today, they must be actively involved, either through our own ventures or by leading initiatives that support the development of the sector. With greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion, more women should avail the opportunity to join the industry and fast forward their growth by learning its nuances and excelling at them. Platforms like Breakbulk Middle East are integral because they motivate women to work towards consistently achieving greater heights.”

Breaking the glass ceiling

Bengi Yuceer, Regional Head of Marine Claims- TMEA, Howden Insurance Brokers said, “In the past decades there have been women, although small in number, that have worked in different technical roles across the spectrum from junior level to top management positions. Their work ethics, consistency in quality and crucial inputs for companies operating in industries such as shipping and maritime have contributed to the development of the companies and the segment as a whole. They continue to serve with dedication, skill, and excellence and inspire more women to pursue technical fields, debunking the myth that technical fields are not suitable for females. I am delighted that Breakbulk Middle East has a special initiative to further the agenda of women’s representation in the field.”

Sue Donoghue, CEO Arab Cluster, DHL Global Forwarding emphasized, “I am thrilled to be a part of Female Leadership Session at Breakbulk Middle East. The industry has ample scope for women to contribute in various roles and we must speak about it. Over the years, Breakbulk Middle East has demonstrated great support to achieve gender equality within the industry. This year’s edition has women from a multitude of sectors in the industry, who will not only share their many achievements but also dole out career advice to inspire other young women. This is what the industry is in dire need of and I feel honoured to be able to do that.”

Leslie Meredith, Marketing Director, Breakbulk Events & Media said, “Bridging the gender gap is an ongoing challenge. Year after year, at Breakbulk Middle East, we ensure that we highlight this issue by addressing the challenges. Companies are becoming more aware due to the greater emphasis on Inclusion and Diversity; however, we still have to continue our efforts to spread awareness about roles in the industry that women can occupy, motivating them to be actively involved in the sector and excel at it. This year too, as part of the ‘Women in Breakbulk’ initiative, we will unite women leaders to share their perspectives on the skills that are important for continued success in the industry.”

The benefits of a diverse leadership team are well-established. However, companies involved in the logistics, supply chain, shipping and breakbulk industries have yet to fully tap into that opportunity. As such, Breakbulk Middle East is encouraging committed action from all stakeholders to help women in the segment realise their full potential and create winning opportunities for companies in the sector and the female leaders.

Meredith concluded, “The door for registration for the sixth edition is now open, and we welcome all industry leaders and experts, especially women, to join us by registering through our official platforms.”