My Maersk Odyssey
My journey with Maersk began when I joined as a commerce graduate in my native South Africa at a company that would later be acquired by Maersk in 2006. I then had the wonderful opportunity to work for Safmarine in the United Kingdom for a few years. Having always had an absolute love of cooking and entertaining, I decided to take a slight detour from my corporate career to study to be a chef in South Africa. After a few years in the culinary world working in various kitchens, I returned to Maersk. This year, I not only made a pivotal decision to relocate to Maersk Headquarters to join the Global DEI team, but to make a career change from commercial and operational roles to the People function. This wasn't a decision I took lightly, but it was one that felt deeply meaningful to me as it presented an opportunity where my passion met my purpose.
Driving DEI at Maersk
In my role in the newly expanded DEI team, I have several focus areas, one of them being anchoring diverse ability inclusion across the organization. This subject is something I am extremely passionate about as I too was born differently. I have a physical condition called Syndactyly which means I don’t have full fingers on both hands. I choose to view it in a positive light and see it as a unique strength rather than a limitation. It's all about perspective! I was also fortunate to have strong support from my family who encouraged me to embrace my uniqueness in every aspect and that’s how I live my life – making the most of every single day!
I recently wrote a Diverse Ability Policy to ensure that our workplace is not only physically and digitally accessible, but also that we change the way we attract and recruit talent in the space of diverse abilities and make accommodations where needed so that everyone can truly bring their best self to work every day. Voluntary self-disclosure, where possible, is something we're exploring as we believe that transparent reporting can be a catalyst for positive change in society.
Being Co-Chair of the Diverse Ability Employee Resource Network (ERN)
While my diverse ability is visible, many others have invisible ones such as ADHD or Aspergers, so it is important to create awareness and understanding of all types of diverse abilities. One of the ways I am doing this is through my work as the Co-Chair of the Diverse Abilities ERN. We have exciting plans for Diverse Abilities Week this December, in celebration of International Person with Disabilities Day on December 3rd. During the week we’ll share stories, raise awareness, celebrate differences, promote our Diverse Ability Policy, and set ambitious goals for the future.
I hope I can inspire others through my work to embrace their diverse abilities or be advocates for those who need it. DEI is not just a policy; it's a commitment to celebrating what makes us unique and harnessing that uniqueness to drive success.
Our DEI efforts at Maersk extend beyond our organization. We're deeply committed on every level and we're continuously working on integrating these values into our strategy and inclusive leadership approach. We're determined to work with those who share our commitment to DEI and love to learn from others. We would like to ensure that our DEI efforts align with our customers' expectations and use it to refine our approach, ensuring that our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion extends throughout our business.
The Path Ahead
For me, finding my purpose has been a lifelong journey. I've been fortunate to have had incredible opportunities throughout my career. My current role in the DEI team enables me to fully contribute to a holistic agenda that I am passionate about and is a testament to Maersk's commitment to nurturing talent and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.
I firmly believe that there's room for everyone to pursue their passions and drive positive change. The company's core value of Our Employees and Constant Care is not just a slogan; it’s part of every aspect of our work. We are committed to bringing everyone along on this transformative DEI journey as we believe it's not just important for our employees, but also for society.
I'm extremely proud of the strides we're making in DEI, and I'm excited about the impact we can have on both our organization and society at large. At Maersk, we're not just charting a course for the future of logistics; we're also working on creating a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world.
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