Women in Leadership positions at Maersk
“Sometimes there are things women struggle with that men don’t even think about,” says Luiza Bublitz, Head of Safmarine for East Coast South America. “In my case, it was my network. Women often don’t realise the power of networking.”
Three years ago, Bublitz took action and helped to establish MIX (Maersk Inclusion for Excellence Network), to promote diversity and inclusion at Maersk. From its origins in Brazil, the network has grown to include employees from other Latin American countries including Chile, Mexico, Panama and Argentina and is now expanding further afield – a new division has recently been launched in Nigeria.
“We are not just about gender, but that is where the biggest gap in our company is, so this is our priority,” explains Bublitz. “It’s all part of the drive for equal opportunities, and to keep up the needed support for women.”
MIX has already celebrated successes. As well as organising seminars and events, it was instrumental in pushing for better work-life balance in offices in Latin America – all employees are now encouraged to work from home at least one day a month; and introducing maternity rooms for women to breastfeed or express once they come back to work after having a baby. Today, there are 11 company maternity rooms across Latin America.
Bublitz believes gender diversity at Maersk is changing for the better. “If we compare the team we have today with that five or six years ago it’s a completely different picture. We can easily see women at job levels 5 & 6 and I’m very happy to say that. I think MIX has helped to create awareness of the fact that better gender balance leads to better business results.”
Diversity works for business
The statistics back this up. According to a recent McKinsey report, the most diverse companies in terms of gender, race and ethnicity are more likely to have higher financial returns.
Maersk has taken major steps to improve gender diversity across the company. Last year a new global Maternity Leave Policy was introduced, including 18 weeks leave on full pay, plus a phased return to work with 20% less hours during the child’s first year. The aim being to achieve a global maternity retention level of 90% (up from 70% in 2014).
Still, Maersk is not where it wants to be – particularly when it comes to those leading the company. In 2016 – according to the Sustainability Report – just 10% of senior leaders and 13% of senior executives were women. This is despite the fact that there is an almost 50/50 split between male and female employees at entry level.