Maersk South Africa was recently certified as a Top Gender Empowered Company within the Transport & Logistics Industry.
Maersk takes pride in recognising and celebrating the achievements of women in the workplace and creating an environment that appreciates, values, and fosters diversity accommodating to the different needs and desires of our employees. Hear more from Natalie Unstead, People Business Partner, Maersk South Africa.
- Please share with us a little bit about you.
- How has your role at Maersk contributed to gender empowerment?
- What are some of Maersk’s SA gender equality and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) ratings and policies and how have they impacted the organization?
- How do Maersk policies address the common challenges women face in the workplace?
- What actions does Maersk take to create a safe and inclusive work environment for women, especially in addressing issues like harassment and discrimination?
- What skills do you believe women leaders of the future are going to need and how can women be encouraged to enter traditionally male-dominated fields?
I am curious, logical, self-aware, fun-loving, active, and outcome focused. I thoroughly enjoy the outdoors and spending time in nature. I love to travel and learn about other cultures. Travel has taught me how to value experience over possessions and to appreciate the little things.
My first paid job was at DHL as a Customer Service Agent. After receiving my education in Organisational Psychology, I worked in a consulting firm and a Logistics company before joining APM Terminals, a Maersk company, in 2014. Maersk has offered me a rich and rewarding career, and I have grown immensely during my tenure. I had the opportunity to work at the APM Terminals Head Quarters in The Netherlands, where I collaborated on numerous significant projects touching many divisions of the business and geographies. I am particularly passionate about Youth Development and shifting the unemployment landscape in South Africa. I am ambitious in my quest to break Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion barriers and provide equal opportunities for all.
As an HR professional, I have been able to positively contribute to gender empowerment by influencing the workplace culture, advocating for equal treatment, and offering equal opportunities. In my role, I strive to ensure that the company’s policies and practices are fully implemented and actively address unconscious bias to include any instances of harassment or discrimination.
Maersk South Africa BBBEE rating – level 3. 55 % female representation.
Our policies have enabled us to widely expand our talent pool and retention rates. Our customers, state organisations, and the community appreciate the positive impact this has on society, and we are, without a doubt, a better organisation thanks to the broader range of perspectives from our diverse colleagues. Lastly, we have seen a positive shift in our regulatory compliance vis a vis BBBEE.
At Maersk, we offer flexible working hours, remote work options, and parental leave for an appropriate work-life balance.
We also offer bespoke women-specific leadership programmes, women mentoring networks, and the Employee Resource Network to address women’s underrepresentation on boards and in senior roles and to support them in advancing their careers.
Our job opportunities and leadership roles are based on merit, and our recruitment strategy calls for a 50/50 male-female ratio for all job levels. Our job descriptions are gender-neutral and free from gender-specific language. Standardised panel interviews help us identify and mitigate potential biases or personal preferences when recruiting. Our organisation has transparent pay policies that offer equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender.
Our comprehensive policy on the prevention and elimination of harassment and discrimination at work describes reporting methods, defines what constitutes harassment and discrimination, and explains the repercussions for violators. At Maersk, our executive team leads by example and demonstrates the commitment they have.
All staff receive training on this topic through several channels, giving them the skills to identify, stop, and deal with problematic conduct. We guarantee no retaliation for reporting, the highest level of protection, and anonymous counselling through our secure and confidential incident reporting channels.
Advocacy and negotiation skills can help women advocate for themselves and their teams effectively. Women leaders will need to have confidence in their abilities and stand up for themselves and their teams.
Future women leaders should be able to think strategically, make informed decisions and allocate resources wisely to achieve long term objectives. Leaders must be comfortable using and leveraging technology to improve efficiency and stay competitive.
Encouraging young women to pursue education and training in fields such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from an early age, coupled with providing mentorship and role models who have succeeded in these fields, can assist with removing gender stereotypes and inspire young women to consider non-traditional career paths.
Diversifying traditionally male dominated industries is not only a matter of fairness and equality but also a strategic move that can lead to numerous benefits for companies and society.
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