Female employees of APM Terminals Apapa Limited joined other women across the world to mark the 2017 International Women’s Day. The event attracted several notable women from across the maritime industry, including members of the Women in Logistics and Transportation (WILAT), led by Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim, who doubles as Port Manager of the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa and the Assistant Comptroller of Customs in charge of scanning at the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa.
The International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally. The day, which is celebrated every March 8, also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
Head, Human Resource of APM Terminals Apapa, Bunmi Pratt said, “A.P. Moller-Maersk believes in diversity, not just gender diversity but diversity in nationality or ethnicity, thoughts and even disability as a result, we are looking at hiring more women within the group to achieve gender diversity. We need more professional women to stand up and take up the jobs that they are qualified for and not restricted by gender bias.”
“To achieve this gender diversity especially for women, we have anchored the diversity principle in our hiring process so that when we hire, we don’t just hire a woman but we hire and make sure that we have a diverse work force, reaching out to the talents, including women available in the country,” said Ms. Pratt.
She said the company is committed to providing the right environment for women to be able them thrive in the workplace.
According to her, part of measures instituted by the company in providing the right environment is the change its maternity policy, which she said has helped the women keep their jobs rather than quit after child birth.
“For us at APM Terminals, especially in Nigeria, we are very committed to looking at the whole life cycle of the female employee, from the recruitment process, to training, development and even during maternity.
“We are committed to creating the right environment for women to do their job while also taking care of the social life. We know that women have certain responsibilities, so we want to create a work environment that allows them to manage both, effectively creating an inclusive and engaging work environment.
“Last year, we changed our maternity policy to increase the retention of women following childbirth or adoption. We are now implementing a maternity policy that improves benefits during and after maternity leave for employees globally. This has helped most of the ladies who would otherwise have dropped out of work,” she said.
The President of Women in Logistics and Transportation (WILAT), Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim, who doubles as Port Manager of the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa enjoined women to be more committed, hardworking and to believe in themselves in their chosen careers.
The theme of the 2017 International Women’s Day was “Be bold for Change”.
APM Terminals Apapa is the largest container facility by capacity of the three serving Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city and business center. It is also the largest container terminal operation in West Africa, having doubled container traffic after concession began in 2006, with dramatically improved productivity.
A $350 million USD investment and expansion program was announced for APM Terminals Apapa since 2006. Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa, and the 7th-largest in the world, with a population of 177 million, and is Africa’s largest economy. APM Terminals currently operates the Apapa and WACT facilities in Nigeria, with plans to develop a third at Badagry.