As part of our campaign to promote International Women’s Day, ABP will raise awareness around careers in maritime in support of the official theme this year, #EmbraceEquity. At ABP, it is paramount that our employees have the same opportunities regardless of their gender. This week we are celebrating our female colleagues and their maritime careers in the hope of inspiring future generations to join our thriving sector. Find out more about our current job vacancies and apply: Associated British Ports Careers (abports.co.uk)
Why did you decide on a port career?
I’m a local (Cleethorpes), and the water and associated activities are central to many of us in this area. The opportunity to work for such an important local business that was also a national company, and the career prospects at ABP appealed to me, so when I was offered the chance to interview for a position here, I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t thought about it when I was younger, thinking Dock-work was very manual and only for men, but I’m delighted to say that isn’t the case at all.
Tell us a bit about you do in your role?
I have only recently moved into my current role of Project Manager, having been lucky enough to work in several other areas beforehand. I am office-based and spend much of my time behind a computer. I do occasionally get to put my personal protective equipment on, although it’s much cleaner than those who do ‘proper work’! As a Project Manager, I take an idea and turn it into a finished ‘thing’ – whether it be a building, an event or a process.
The projects I manage vary from relatively small – producing a log of all plant and equipment to enable us to set up a maintenance / replacement schedule, through to the much larger – sourcing and designing welfare facilities for operatives at a terminal in Immingham with a budget of £250,000.
What do you enjoy about the job?
I love the variety that comes with my role. There is an element of structure, in that I have specific methods of planning my projects and seeing them through to completion, but the nature of the projects I work on can be almost anything! I get to work with lots of departments within ABP (and externally), which is great for meeting colleagues and making work-friends. This results in work social events being particularly fun as I know loads of people!
I also love that through working hard, I’ve been recognised and have been given new opportunities within the business: my career has been a lot of fun so far.
What are the challenges?
Despite my very best efforts, sometimes things just don’t go to plan! When dealing with suppliers, they might be delayed by things like the cold weather which impacts my projects and deadlines. And if something does go wrong, that might mean I’m on my laptop a bit later than I wanted to be in the evenings!
It can also be tricky translating someone’s idea into something tangible – so I must listen carefully and be flexible, and open to feedback.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to enter a career in the port sector?
It isn’t just manual labour, and it’s for women as well as men. There are so many different jobs and careers at ABP, and such a large industry on the East Coast relating to port activities. Work hard, and be open minded – if you’re flexible, willing to help and go along with all sorts, you’ll see more, learn more and have great fun along the way.