Vice Chairman, ENL Consortium Ltd., Dr Vicky Haastrup, today said that women giving back to women through mentorship would ensure there were no gaps in line of expertise in future.
She made the appeal yesterday during the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA Nigeria) virtual seminar to mark the 2021 International Women’s Day.
The seminar had its topic as “Women in Leadership: Effective Mentoring in Shipping”.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the International Women’s Day is celebrated every March 8 and the theme for 2021 is: “Women in leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World”.
According to Haastrup, if women are not coached and pulled up, they will suffer particularly in the shipping industry highly dominated by men.
“As women, we must rise up to our challenges in the country and the whole world, reposition ourselves, challenge that stumbling blocks that is limiting us from progressing.
“We need to mentor ourselves which comes with great responsibility and wisdom so that we do not leave vacuum in the shipping industry already dominated by men.
“But despite these challenges, women are rising and breaking the glass ceiling, driving each other and this requires creativity, innovation, professionalism and ability to get what they want,” she said.
Haastrup pointed out that a leader should consider mentoring people so as to develop talent pool, create proficient people that could work, help women occupy prominent space in the economy, bridge gaps and retain internal expertise.
She also listed some characteristics of women leaders as being more transformational, not being afraid, function as a role model, provide succor for people, applying soft touch and emphasising team work.
She urged women to learn to brand themselves and share their skills as it would help them to become very fulfilled and enriched in life.
Also, Mrs Rollens Macfoy of the Ocena Deep Services Ltd., said that without mentoring, the women representation in the shipping industry which stood at two per cent would not increase.
She urged women to build careers in the shipping industry which would further move the percentage forward such as; freight forwarding, vessel registry, seafaring, maritime law, ship owners, shipping agent, divers and others.
“Mentorship is an experience that helps one to guide people to a state of equilibrium or professionalism and so if you are made, you need to learn to pick up,” she said.
Earlier, Mrs Eunice Ezeoke, President of WISTA, said that women had come a long way in shipping but there was more to be done hence the need for mentoring.
According to her, since the glass ceiling is giving way, there is need to sustain it through mentoring which means as one is climbing along, one should pull the sister along.
“We need to make our own voices to be heard in the place where decision making are taken so women should push forward,” she said.