As part of our campaign to promote International Women’s Day, ABP is raising 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)
Can you tell us a bit about your role and what it involves?
As Commercial and TimberLINK Manager, I have three main responsibilities.
The first one is as People Manager; I lead the operations and admin support team who deal with raising bills, paying invoices, operating the weighbridge, controlling stocks etc.
The second one is as Commercial Manager, I am sales person and as such I am required to bring business in, retain business and maintain excellent working relationships with our customers.
The last, but definitely not the least, is as TimberLINK Manager, for which I am very well assisted in by our TimberLINK Coordinator. The TimberLINK scheme involves a range of stakeholders, from government agencies to haulage companies, wood-processing factories, shipping facilitators and vessel crew, and transports timber from the Argyll forests to ABP’s ports of Ayr and Troon in order to avoid road congestion and reduce CO2 emissions.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
First is the people, my colleagues, my team. They have made me feel a part of ABP from day one, although I come from a completely different industry. They have always been more than happy to answer any question, and there have been many!
And I also enjoy the variety of the day-to-day tasks. I have never written so many daily to-do lists before! I could be approving a PPE order one moment, getting a call about a shipment of pre-cast concrete to price up the next, and required to organise for timber to be cleared off a pier by the end of the day!
What did you do before joining ABP?
I was Operations Manager for a company that organises school trips, so the role was similar. I was also leading the admin team and ensuring clients were happy, but instead of dealing with big ships full of tons of fertiliser, I was dealing with big coaches full of excited children!
What are some of the challenges and how do you overcome them?
At the beginning there was so much to learn, I found the best way to remember was to actually sit, watch, then do.
However, it is a constant learning process and I think this isn’t just due to coming from a different industry. I think this is for everyone in ABP, there is always something new that we haven’t come across but that someone else might have experienced. I am never afraid of asking questions, as there is no such thing as a silly question.
What have been some of your highlights working for ABP?
ABP have their principles right, and that is very important to any employee. Safety comes first, and being provided with a full PPE kit on the first day was absolutely right. And who doesn’t love looking like a Playmobil?
ABP is big on inclusion, integration, diversity. I am French but was able, to my surprise, to conduct a complex insurance conversation in French with a colleague in the insurance team!
ABP looks to the future, with environmental projects, employee health and wellbeing, CO2 reduction goals and more. I am not sure all large organisations would have such principles, so they are definitely worth highlighting and are part of what made working for ABP worth me changing jobs!