Women in maritime
Group Management team: Carl-Johan’s story
I think gender balance in our Group Management team shows that as a company, we are walking the talk. We’re making progress, step by step, and that’s a result of a genuine wish to take action. I think it makes us stronger as a team. Everyone has biases we don’t see, so to have diverse perspectives is important as a big international employer – we are more reflective of our customers and society.
We need open conversations
As an industry, we have a lot of work to do to improve gender equality. Just because we’re ahead of our competitors doesn’t mean we’re done. We need to be very clear about what we have to do. Openness and honesty are key – we need to have conversations about the changes we need to make at every level, and then we can turn that into action. Conversation is a vital first step in making any change.
Role models matter
I’ve been blessed with many great female role models in my career. Although I’ve spent my career in industries where parts are very male-dominated, I’ve always seen forward-leaning female leaders in senior roles. At times, this has probably led me to believe that this is perfectly usual, but actually, as you look around different industries, unfortunately there are barriers all over that need to be removed.
In Ports & Terminals, we have promoted and hired so that we have more women leaders. We’ve started from the top, changing the management structure and adding female leaders in key positions, including our first female Regional Director for Port Operations. But we can’t be true ambassadors for gender equality if we don’t show the duality here: yes, we celebrate the successes, but we are really challenged when it comes to getting greater gender balance in some parts of our workforce, and we can’t be complacent.
I want to say to those women in our industry who feel stuck – who can’t see a way to progress their careers: seek the opportunities you deserve. We are creating multiple layers of role models across the company, and I hope that shows everyone that there are possibilities for progression. Managers need to reach out to everyone who has potential, and give them the support they need to develop their careers. In many parts of our business, that means seeing the untapped potential that’s in front of us.