Only a few years ago Amy Gillespie was serving burgers and fries while successfully managing a team of staff at McDonalds at the same time as completing her degree at the University of Liverpool . Now she’s Senior Control room Operator, supervising a team of Control Room Operators whilst completing a Masters (MSc) in Sustainable Maritime Operations that is being funded by Peel Ports.
Amy’s role means she is responsible for controlling a variety of operations across the Port of Liverpool, one of the UK’s most important trading gateways, where her job depends on excellent communication, “My role requires me to interact with all parts of the business, and communicate effectively with everyone who comes into contact with what we do here at the Port. For instance, one minute I’ll be relaying important information to our crane operators, and the next I’ll be speaking to the captain of a ship that is scheduled to berth.”
“After looking into the job and the new developments at the Port, I was really keen to be part of a real Liverpool success story and a business focused on putting the city back on the map. When I heard about all of the development and investment going on at the Port, I knew it was somewhere I’d like to work - somewhere with the ambition to help me get to where I want to be professionally. I feel like my career progression is just as important to Peel Ports as it is me – and I still see me working here in ten years’ time at a Director level.”
The maritime sector provides better opportunities than ever before for young women looking for an interesting and rewarding career. Julia Bradley, Peel Ports Sales and Marketing Director, explains why this is good news for new female recruits and the sector as a whole.
It therefore seems appropriate, in the approach to International Women’s Day, to share what we at Peel Ports are doing on this issue.
I didn’t start my own career in ports but I’m confident in saying that the industry now is very different from when I began my working life. However, I suspect a lot of people probably think about out-dated images of what employment in the maritime sector looks like.
At Peel Ports, we’ve been leading the charge of building a more inclusive, dynamic and progressive workplace. We reflect that in the policies and pledges we’ve committed to, but the proof of our seriousness about this issue is in the female appointments we have made in recent years.
All of this is the right thing to do. But we are not in the habit of virtue-signalling. Much of the change has been driven by the nature of our business evolving.
Ports used to be very transaction based and only one, isolated link in the supply chain. Now, we have a radically different role. We work with our existing and potential customers to understand their needs. We create partnerships with other supply chain providers to then develop the right solutions. And we deliver all this in a way that’s much more data-driven, joined-up and customer-focussed than ever before.
From the quayside to the boardroom, there’s never been such a broad range of career paths for women in logistics, including technology, sales, operations, management and much more. The industry as a whole has always played a crucial role in the economy but is even more important now, with innovation and collaboration being the keys to meeting higher consumer expectations.
I’ve seen for myself in six years at Peel Ports how rewarding our business can be, how it provides development opportunities at every level, and how women are having a growing influence on the future.