International Women’s Day: ‘Iron ladies’ of Steinweg

In honor of International Women’s Day , we would like to show our appreciation to all of our female employees. However, we want to put some of our ‘Iron ladies’ in the spotlight. Read about Chantels, Lara’s and Sawsans experience of working at Steinweg down below.

Chantel Roach

Managing Director (South Africa) for Blue Oceans Maritime (a Steinweg company) – has been with Steinweg for 30 years

‘In my thirty years of working for Steinweg, I have had a lot of different roles throughout the Group. From operations secretary to finance, from sales to clearing and forwarding and then to managing a branch and warehouse. I currently work as a Managing Director for our chartering and ships agency business. It’s a very male dominated field and being a woman means that I have had to fit into unconventional spaces that were not created for me. I’ve been a Managing Director for over a year now and it’s like I’ve got a new lease on life. It’s so different from the rest of the business and a very specialized job: very high risks, very high rewards. We had a really complicated shipment a while ago and I think I didn’t sleep for about a month, not until we got it right. It was so rewarding. When I look back at that shipment, it was totally worth all the sleepless nights. We all need to recognise the strengths that come with womanhood and celebrate and embrace all the strong wonderful women around us.’

Lara in ‘t Veld

Project manager operations (Rotterdam, Netherlands) – has been with Steinweg for 3 years

‘I already knew Steinweg for being a company with a rich history and a major name in the port of Rotterdam. During my study’s excursion week, we unexpectedly visited the company for a presentation. That’s when I knew for sure: this is where I want to work! I told my professor about it and he immediately wanted to help me. While we took a break, he distracted the others and kicked me under the table. That was my cue to leave the room unnoticed, step into the management office, and leave my CV. That boldness was appreciated and, after a few interviews, I was hired. I work as a project manager operations, which means I deal with longer-term operational matters. Matters that call for a project-based approach, such as implementing sustainability and future-proofing our terminals.

I watch Steinweg change every day. In a positive way! Previously, it was quite a closed organization. And yet there is so much to be proud of. Luckily, we get to show it more and more. The possibilities within Steinweg are endless. You have the space to think outside the box. I like that a lot. And of course, it’s a man’s world, but that’s exactly where I feel comfortable. You have to be able to withstand and not be afraid to dish it out. At home I was taught: a brazen man has half the world, and a brazen girl has the entire world! How I envision the future? Positively! We are currently working towards Steinweg 25 years from now. So as far as I’m concerned: ‘full steam ahead!’

Sawsan Marhoon Rashid Al-Mamari

Facilities Teamleader (Oman) – has been with Steinweg for 7 years

‘My first day working at Steinweg was a memorable day. My manager had a hard time communicating with women, so I was very much left to my own devices in learning how to do my job. I was trained as a technical engineer, but I was given invoices to process. Even though I didn’t understand, I really wanted to make it work. So I started to figure it out on my own. And everyday, I got a bit better at it. I asked a lot of questions and my manager started to notice me. I was dealing with the invoices in such a precise way, that I was saving the company a lot of money. So he started inviting me to meetings and giving me more tasks. I kept studying by myself to be able to do them. Step by step, my colleagues started to notice what I had to offer the company. And Steinweg started to offer me more and more support. English lessons and different kinds of courses: I took on every opportunity with both hands. When my manager left Steinweg, he told me how much he was going to miss me. That was a really big moment for me. Now I work as a facilities teamleader. Sometimes it is still difficult to be a woman doing this job, but my colleagues respect me. And I know I am the best, I can accomplish whatever I want!’