INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day this week was marked in the industry with special events around the industry.

One such event was Port of Brisbane’s morning gathering for the port community to recognise the valuable contribution of women in the maritime sector.

Around 100 guests – predominantly women from across the Port of Brisbane precinct – joined PBPL CEO Roy Cummins and guest speaker, PBPL general counsel and company secretary Jenny Draper at the event.

Mr Cummins said the morning provided a valuable opportunity for women from across the Port of Brisbane community to come together, network and be recognised for their contributions.

“This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge – asking people as individuals and collectively to help create change through challenging the status quo: to celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias, and to take action for equality,” Mr Cummins said.

“While over the past 12 months, COVID has changed much about the way we work and in how we come together, there is one thing that hasn’t changed and it’s the reality that, globally, women continue to be significantly under-represented in the port industry.

“In fact, according to the International Maritime Organisation, today, women represent only 2% of the world’s 1.2 million seafarers and 94% of these are in the cruise industry.

“At the Port of Brisbane, we recognise there is a long path ahead of us as we strive to recognise and break down barriers to attracting women in the maritime sector and supporting equality for all, more broadly.

“We #ChoosetoChallenge the misconception that a maritime career isn’t for women by working to raise the profile of our industry and attract more female candidates to our opportunities.”

Mr Cummins said PBPL is creating opportunities such as its marine and landside operations cadetship programs for women, which will welcome two landside port operations cadets in the next month.

“In fact, over the last two years we have doubled the level of female representation in operational roles in our business, however there is still a long way to go,” he said.

“We’re also providing upskilling opportunities, with 30% of women at PBPL having taken up the challenge to grow their skills and capability by commencing study to obtain Certificate 4 or higher qualifications to support them to progress their career

Mr Cummins said that while these programs are source of pride, they are merely steps in a long journey.

“We will not rest on our laurels when it comes to opening up more opportunities in the traditionally male-dominated maritime industry. Events such as today – which bring together women from across the port community – are a key part of that and on behalf of the Port of Brisbane, I thank all our guests for joining us,” Mr Cummins said.

“And most importantly, I thank the women who joined us this morning for your time and for your ongoing contribution to the success of the Port of Brisbane and Australia’s maritime sector.”

In Gladstone

Meanwhile, further north, Gladstone Ports Corporation held a special International Women’s Day breakfast, which was also a benefit for Act for Kids, which supports local families.

GPC is home to 160 inspiring and talented women in all fields including technology, environment, engineering, executive roles and parks and gardens, just to name a few.

GPC executive general manager people and community Rowen Winsor said it was important women embrace decision-making roles.

“We have many of female leaders doing exceptional things at GPC which shows our commitment to gender equality,” Ms Winsor said.

“Today, many organisations will be hosting events to celebrate women and raise awareness about gender equality and GPC is no exception. It’s an important date in our calendar,” she said.

Guest speaker, Dr Kaye Pickering from Act for Kids, said GPC’s event and their employees are helping support an important local charity.

“Sadly, we have a waitlist here in Gladstone due to the high demand for our services,” Dr Pickering said.

“Act for Kids is deeply grateful for Gladstone Ports Corporation’s support for children and families in the local area,” she said.

“In the past 12 months, we have delivered much-needed support to more than 285 children and families in Rockhampton and since we opened in Gladstone in November 2019, we have assisted more than 230 local children and families.

“We offer a specialist therapy service which provides sexual abuse counselling as well as early intervention for children and young people displaying harmful sexual behaviours.

“Money raised from the International Women’s Day breakfast will go directly to helping more children through our highly sought-after integrated therapy service.”

All the money raised from the event will go towards supporting abused children in the community.