Managing Director China, SAL Heavy Lift (Shanghai)
I am working for SAL for more than 15 years as Managing Director of SAL China. In that role I also represent the Jumbo SAL Alliance in the Chinese market. Besides the regular responsibilities in the daily work as a MD, I think one of my major responsibilities is to create a harmonious, cohesive and creative working environment for our team, to encourage everyone and help them when they need a hand. Finally, I am responsible to expand our local team in Shanghai in its marketing capability. Helen Keller said: “Alone we can do little, together we can do much!” As well, I think that alone one might go fast, together we can go far!
I was lucky to start my career in shipping, which was actually my major in university. Shipping is an irreplaceable industry. As long as trading continues, ‘shipping’ will be needed. For me, the most interesting thing I found out about shipping after being in this industry for over 15 years, is that the shipping industry is moving ahead with an infinite cycle.
I think that the biggest challenge as a women in shipping might be a self-limiting mindset. It is a fact that there are more male than female in the shipping industry. Many women might think that they are less capability than their male colleagues. They are afraid and not willing to move ahead without giving it a try. This mindset self-limits her own capabilities or career development. The biggest challenge is how to go beyond yourself!
I am really lucky to have teammates that really support and help me. It is great teamwork among us. Furthermore, the management of SAL and Harren & Partner put great trust in me by offering me this opportunity as MD in Shanghai.
There is a Chinese saying: “The environment depends on what you think", which means that the world and how you see it, understand it and felt it is actually determined by the attitude and the projection of the heart. If, as a woman, you subconsciously think that you are inferior to men because you are a woman, you may fall into the trap of “prejudices" in your life.
At Harren & Partner, I am very grateful to have a harmonious and positive working environment for each employee. The organisation gives us the sense of belonging, of being valued. Here, the only moment I need to think about “I am a woman” is when I write ‘Female’ into the gender box in an application form.
In the workplace, I am more concerned about my personal capabilities, what (more) value I can create, and what responsibilities I should take for a sake of good management, how I can best serve the company and its clients, how to lead the team to go far, etc.
Shipping industry feels like a serial novel, and everyday has a different story, is filled with a lot of fun and challenges. If you are looking for an adventurous journey, please join shipping. There are unlimited possibilities ahead. Shipping is an industry where the sun never sets! If you look for a stable life, please join shipping and you will always be able to find a suitable position here.