Female mobile harbour crane operators have commended APM Terminals Apapa for providing a fair and equal work environment for both genders in the male-dominated port industry.
They gave the commendation at an event organised by the Lagos Port Complex Apapa to commemorate the 2023 International Women’s Day, with the theme, ‘Embrace Equity’.
One of the female crane operators with the container terminal, Perpetua Onyia, expressed satisfaction with the work environment and opportunities given to her to thrive in her chosen career.
Onyia said her success as a crane operator has opened doors for other women to embrace similar careers in a male-dominated port environment. She commended the management of APM Terminals for giving her same opportunities and resources as her male counterparts, without gender discrimination.
Also speaking at the event, another female crane operator, Cynthia Chukwuneke, said the terminal encouraged her to be the best in her chosen career.
In her remarks, the Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex Apapa, Olufunmilayo Olotu, advised women in the maritime industry to embrace and support one another in the quest for professional advancement.
“Women need to learn how to celebrate one another’s achievement, educate and raise awareness about gender equity. Women need to lobby for accelerated gender parity, work together and help each other advance in their chosen careers,” she said.
The Senior Human Resource Business Partner, APM Terminals Nigeria, Uzoma Ngozi Ben-Ude, said since 2019 when the Federal Government approved women working night shifts, the terminal began a concerted effort to create opportunities for women in the male-dominated port operations. She said starting with employment of female crane operators the same year, the company has gone on to introduce more gender-friendly policies.
According to her, APM Terminals also encourages women not only to aspire for leadership positions, but also to undergo specific training programme designed to position them for management and leadership roles.
“In APM Terminals Nigeria, we not only give equal opportunities to both genders, but we also go the extra mile to encourage female participation in some of the fields and roles where you have limited participation of females.
“We also ensure we have female representation in the leadership cadre of the organisation and create an enabling environment for them to succeed in whatever roles they have within the company,” Ben-Ude, said.