Breakbulk Middle East, a leading industry event for breakbulk and project cargo sector, will be hosted by DP World, the UAE region’s leading trade enabler, from February 9 to 19 in Dubai.
A major highlight at the expo will be the two-day Women in Breakbulk initiative featuring women holding leadership roles in the industry.
Through this initiative, the event hopes to attract talented women from the industry, nurture aspiring women professionals and retain outstanding talent.
The event, which has played an active role in increasing the participation of women in key areas in the industry, is being held under the patronage of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure.
Princess Sarah Al Saud, Director of Maritime Business Development at the International Forum for Maritime Transport, Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, in Alexandria, said: "The project cargo and breakbulk industry are predominantly male-dominated, however, with that said women are breaking the glass ceiling and gaining recognition."
"The event has several programmes that are a meeting point for women to share their career stories, and offer advice to one another," he noted.
Hessa Al Malek, the advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport Affairs, the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and President (Awima), said: "Women have always contributed to all aspects of our industry. They play an active role in reshaping industry perceptions in logistics and maritime and they will continue to do so."
"Breakbulk Middle East is providing a great platform to facilitate discussions on how the industry can encourage young women to choose a career in the industry," he added.
Over the years, the representation of women in leadership roles has drastically increased.
According to Grant Thorton’s Women in Business 2020 report, in 2019, the proportion of women in senior management roles globally grew to 29 percent. The report also stated that 87 percent of global mid-market companies have at least one woman in a senior management role in 2020.
The figures remained unchanged in 2020. However, this number drops significantly when it comes to the maritime sector. Women make up a mere two percent of the world’s maritime workforce that includes 1.2 million seafarers.
Jasmin Fichte, Managing Partner, Fichte & Co Legal and Founder of WISTA Arabia UAE, commented, "Platforms like Breakbulk Middle East are integral because they inspire young women who aspire to join the global maritime workforce, motivating them to work towards consistently achieving new heights."
Ben Blamire, Event Director of Breakbulk Middle East explained, "Although the industry has now become more aware of the benefits that can be achieved when companies tackle the gender imbalance, we have to continue our efforts to spread awareness about roles in the industry that women can occupy, motivating women to take the plunge."
Leslie Meredith, Marketing Director, Breakbulk Events and Media said, "This year has been challenging for everyone. To discuss these roadblocks, we will unite women from different sectors to share their perspectives on the skills that are important for continued success in the industry."