In recent years, several studies have demonstrated that having more female leaders, board members, managers and supervisors leads to better business outcomes.

The transport and logistics profession is typically described as a non-traditional employment pathway for women. This prevailing view, is supported by a perception that because the majority of employees in this industry are men, most work in this industry is stereo-typically male.  MacAndrews continues to strive to pave the road ahead for women in transport and logistics. Transforming the image of the sector, gender stereotypes and unfair workplace practices is a mammoth of a task.

However, with strong leadership commitment and action, it is possible gradually to remove barriers that prevent the broader participation of women.

Looking forward, the inclusion of women in transport and logistics is not only a business imperative, but also increasingly part of a global opus to promote inclusive and sustainable economic development.

Wednesday, we celebrated International Women’s Day with a feature article on the women of MacAndrews. Discover our third and last interview with Simone Garcez, Trade manager Portugal in our London office.

  • Tell me how you first got involved in with the world of shipping?

I had always been fascinated with travelling and getting to know different people and cultures. My dad’s job required him to travel a lot and since a very young age I got used to packing and moving…I knew my future had to do with that.

It was a long way though, until I really found my place. My background was in Engineering, but exact Science was not really my thing. After finishing my degree, I moved to London to do a Masters in International Business and got a job with the Brazilian Naval Commission in Europe, which worked closely with the IMO.  Through them I found out about the ICS and became very interested in the dynamic world of Shipping.

  • What was your first impression of MacAndrews?

When I joined MacAndrews 13 years ago, it had recently been acquired by the CMA CGM Group from Andrew Weir Shipping in 2002 – which had a strong service network from North Europe to Spain and Portugal. The prospect of working for a company where I would be able to speak my mother tongue was attractive. MacAndrews was small enough to allow me to get involved on all aspects of the business, from operations to finance and commercial, but at the same time, it was part of one of the largest Shipping companies in the world, which allowed me to learn a lot about worldwide trade infrastructure and management.

  • What’s your first memory of your role at MacAndrews?

My first role was as Assistant Manager on the Deep Sea Department on the EPIC Trade, between Europe and Indian Subcontinent. I was extremely excited with the opportunity to visit India and to get to know the people…however, my first telephone communication was a disaster as I could not understand a word. It took me a few months to get used to the accent, but it was a real pleasure working with them. They are one of the easiest, friendliest and most hard-working people I have ever worked with.

  • How do you feel about the logistics and transport industry as a whole when it comes to equality?

Less than a quarter of the 1.7m people working in transport and logistics in the UK are female, according to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

A study conducted by the European Transport Federation also confirms that less than 20% of the women employed in the transport sector are in management positions. The industry can definitely do more to better attract, support and retain women within the sector.

When I first started in the Industry, I was more conscious of being female than I am now. I once noticed at a Trade meeting that I was the only female present. I wondered at the time if this was likely to be a regular occurrence. However, in time you stop thinking about it and learn to focus on delivering a competitive advantage.

  • What do you find most challenging about your role at MacAndrews?

Transport and logistics exemplify the 24/7 culture. Some roles like mine may require work including evenings and weekends as well as extensive travelling. Sometimes it’s difficult to balance work with family life.

  • What’s the best/worst thing to happen since you started working with MacAndrews?

The deep sea trades at MacAndrews were closed down during my maternity leave. On my return, I found myself in an entirely new role, and this was after the 2008 financial crisis. There have been many challenges and changes since, but I’ve learned to adapt with the times.

Working for MacAndrews has allowed me to travel to countries that I had never imagined I would have visited and meet the most extraordinary people

  • What might (someone) be surprised to know about you

I nearly became a professional contemporary dancer. During my time at Uni, I joined a troupe and performed in the major cities in Brazil, but rehearsals became too intense and I had to choose between Dance and my studies.

  • What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining MacAndrews?

Those considering the move into Transport and logistics should focus on building their own brand – it’s the best way to ensure you’re accepted in the role for your abilities. It’s important to focus on what you can bring to your role that’s currently missing.

We should relish diversity. The industry will only be able to attract the right talent and overcome its perception issues by better promoting the scope of opportunities available

  • How do you think the MacAndrews Vision 2020 of over the next five years will affect your role?

We have difficult times ahead with over-regulation, exchange rate volatility and geopolitical uncertainty. If that was not enough, the Increasing fuel prices combined with a global focus on climate change and new

environmental regulations together with intense competition in the markets, which put significant pressure on prices and consequently on margins, are not making our life any easier. Suppose we just have to get on with it and take the challenge with an open heart.

  • What do you do when you aren’t at work/What are you hobbies/sport?

I have a second job, where I am most valued but totally exploited…I spend most of my free time with my two cheeky monkeys. We got to a stage that we can go back to the basic pleasures of life that we used to take for granted, like going for a bike ride in the park and watching a film from beginning to end without interruption.

  • If you won the lottery, what would your first purchase be?

An all-inclusive holiday package to the Maldives including first class flights…

You can also visit the official website of the International Women’s Day