The Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup has emerged as the Women International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria Personality of the Year 2019.
The prestigious award was conferred on Haastrup on Tuesday at the 2019 Annual Business Luncheon and 25th anniversary of WISTA Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, Haastrup, who is also the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of ENL Consortium Nigeria Limited, made case for more women participation in the shipping sector to balance the existing gender gap in the industry.
The STOAN Chairman acknowledged that while there has been improvement in the level of women participation in the sector as against what was obtained a decade ago, there is still need for improvement especially in the seafaring and freight forwarding profession.
She said, “Women are virtually everywhere operating within the sector but we need more. For example, in freight forwarding sub-sector and seafaring, we don’t have too many women. So we want to see more participation in that aspect. If we have more women participate, that part of the sector will be better modernized because people always have more confidence in women and the industry will be better for it.
“Those of us who have been operating in the industry should encourage the younger women and support them within the area we operate. Some of them don’t have financial capacity to operate. That is one of the ways we can encourage them.
“I am happy with the level of participation because the awareness is there and people are getting sensitized about the importance of women participation in the sector. We are getting there, but we are not there yet.”
In her goodwill message, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, urged women in the sector to collectively aspire and pursue working towards balancing gender gap.