WiLAT Encourages Woman Participation in Business Decision Making through Capacity Improvement

Though there is an increasing trend, but overall, the woman participation in the logistics and transport industries, especially at the level of decision making, is still low. Understanding this, Woman in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT) Chapter Indonesia, has initiated some campaigns on how to encourage woman to involve in the decision making.

After conducting a series of activities in April, on May 25, WiLAT Chapter Indonesia again conducted a discussion and campaign to encourage woman participation in business decision making. Entitled ‘I Am a Woman CEO’, WiLAT Chapter Indonesia conducted a discussion, participating both global and national speakers with high reputation as expert in logistics and as motivators.

The hybrid webinar conducted on board of SPIL Vessel was officially opened by the former Head Office Harbour Master of Tanjung Priok Port Dr. Capt. Wisnu Handoko Ms.c (now as the Head Office of Tanjung Priok Port Authority).

Some key speakers for this event include CILT International President Dato Razak Malek, FCILT, Indonesia CILT President Iman Gandi, FCILT, WiLAT Global Chairperson Gayani De Alwis, CMILT, WiLAT Global Vice chairperson South East Asia Ts. Zawiah Abdul Majid, FCILT, the Indonesia National Female Figure Dr. Dewi Motik Pramono, M.Si, Director of Polimarin Dr. Sri Tutie Rahayu, M.Si, and Director of STIMLOG Rachmawati Wangsaputri, Phd.

On his remark speech Wisnu appreciated this discussion, hoping this would encourage the woman participation in the sector of transportation, logistics, and shipping. “Not just as common staff but as top leader in this industry,” he said in his remark speech.

On her opening speech, Chairperson of WiLAT Chapter Indonesia Juliana Sofhia Damu, underlined the background of this activity and campaign, saying the movement’s leadership philosophy is built around three pillars: investment, opportunity, and awareness.

She said, the WiLAT, both global and WiLAT Indonesia commit to continue this campaign. “We invest in women, identifying future leaders and mentoring them. We help them access leadership training programmes and encourage them to apply for executive roles,” she said.

WiLAT, said Juliana, would identify and promote opportunity, driving the change toward an equal workplace. WiLAT would take active participation in the global campaign in increasing woman participation in decision making to 30%, at least.

“We are part of the global campaign to increase female participation in decision making to at least 30% and work tirelessly to ensure leadership roles are accessible to women, and women are able to forge careers at all levels of the industry.”

“We increase awareness of the successes of women within the industry, emphasizing their value to companies, showing what can be achieved and encouraging our members to aim high.”

Logistics Challenges

Echoing the views, global speakers from WiLAT and CILT, underlined some logistics challenges and opportunities that call for woman capability improvement for a wider participation in this industry.

CILT International President Dato Razak Malek presented some challenges the global logistics facing at the time, including the trend of digitalization, the multimodal transportation, and the increasing volume of e-commerce. “But, within these challenges, there will always be opportunities,” he said.

“I appreciate this event and say congratulations to WiLAT Indonesia that continues to initiate this campaign. I hope this will encourage us how to improve our capability on making these challenges to be opportunities,” Dato Razak said further.

CILT, he said, would always support WiLAT, especially WiLAT Chapter Indonesia, to encourage woman capability in this industry, thus supporting them to take a wider participation.

WiLAT Global Chairperson Gayani De Alwis, CMILT echoed the views. She said, logistics sector contributed around 12% of the global GDP. And, as the industry continues to grow, the logistics contribution will continue to raise, with expected value to reach more than $12.3 trillion next year (2022).

Gayani said the logistics opportunities would come from growing industries, automation and digitalization, and trade liberalization.

Unfortunately, though there is an increasing trend of woman participation, but overall, it is still low due to some barriers of societal factors, poor policies, outdated laws, poor access to market, poor access to finance, knowhow, information, wage gap, sexual discrimination, etc.

In the level of decision making, Gayani affirmed the woman low participation. Quoting data from Grant Thornton International Business Report, in the level of direction board, woman participation in human resources division stayed the highest, by 27%, then followed by Chief Financial Officer (18%), corporate controller (14%), Chief Marketing Officer (12%), Sales Director (10%), Chief Executive Officer (9%), Chief Operating Officer (9%), and Chief Information Officer (4%).

“So, overall woman participation, especially in the level of decision making, is still low,” she said.

Meanwhile, WiLAT Global Vice chairperson South East Asia Ts. Zawiah Abdul Majid, FCILT underlined some challenges and opportunities in Southeast Asia Logistics business. She said some changing dynamics of logistics in SE Asia, including rapid economy evolution especially in the countries of Indonesia, the Philippine, and Thailand.

Indonesia is expected to account over 50% of the Southeast Asian e-commerce market, according to Zawiah. “Good to know that logistics industry is a potential economy sector in the region, reaching 15-20% of Vietnam GDP and around 12% for Indonesia,” she said.

Southeast Asia logistics, according to Zawiah, was booming. The booming is triggered by some factors including some international trade frameworks. The FTA, for example, allows ASEAN markets enjoy customs free in export import. “This triggers demand for logistics and 3PL services.”

Capacity Improvement

Realizing with this low participation, all speakers for the discussion agreed to support any effort for increasing the woman participation, especially in the level of decision making.

“That is why we do this (campaign through discussion). And, this is in line with the WiLAT Global programs,” Juliana underlined.

According to Juliana, by nature, woman is a leader & a teacher, they know how to lead and they know how to teach. It is a gifted talent from God. “But having that is not enough to become a real leader in an organisation, woman needs to improve themselve to have the self esteem, self control, self confidence, and self respect to their value,” she said.

Gayani appreciates with this WiLAT Indonesia programs. “As a new baby-born, WiLAT Indonesia has proven its high commitment for the issues as it continues to run these campaigns. We appreciate it very much.”

Gayani explained that WiLAT Global has and will continue to do programs on improving the woman capability, thus supporting them to be involved in the level of decision making. She names some, including career advancement and life enrichment formula (CALF) Training, Ignite Program on Mentorship, UNWoman HeforShe Program, Woman Got Talent, School Transport Conference, etc.

“All those programs are meant to support woman capability improvement, thus supporting them to be decision makers,” she said.

Some other speakers of this hybrid webinar, Dewi Motik Pramono, Sri Tutie Rahayu, and Rachmawati Wangsaputri also give some motivation to support woman to increase participation in decision making, in the logistics sector in particular.

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