The port industry has traditionally been a male dominated one. Women work in office-based jobs, while men worked on the ground. This is understandable since a lot of on the ground jobs required brawn. Legacy recruitment processes insisted on anyone wishing to take on stevedoring roles having to start as lashers – using heavy metal bars (weighing from 18 – 30kgs) to secure containers on ships. This made it difficult for women to enter the field and unintentionally excluded half the population, who might be excellent crane or straddle drivers.
But times have changed and the use of technology has meant that physical strength is no longer the primary requisite. In the past year, the Port has taken a close look at our recruitment processes. Through work redesign and better recruitment and training practices we’ve removed barriers to entry and widened our talent pool.
The port now has 20 women working as straddle or crane drivers and there will be more to come.
We have also introduced flexible contracts to assist women who are juggling careers and families. Where the job allows, some are now able to work from home for some of the time. We also offer part-time work and flexibility around days worked for selected roles where being on-site is not always a requirement. Although this flexibility was designed to reduce barriers for women, they are also open to men. In all cases, eligibility is dependent on the nature of the job as not all jobs are suited to this type of contract.
The port now has 20 women working as straddle or crane drivers...
Video on Straddle Drivers
Video on Lashing
Video on Crane