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Confidence as a Catalyst

Empowering Women in Breakbulk and the Role of Men in the Gender Discussion

By Liesl Venter

Breakbulk Europe 2023: In a rapidly evolving business landscape, confidence is a powerful accelerator for women, propelling them to achieve remarkable success and break barriers in traditionally male-dominated sectors.

Acknowledging confidence’s pivotal role, Diana Kaufmann, president of Central Europe, global risk management and HR development at deugro, said that fostering self-assurance among women is crucial for driving their professional growth and achieving gender equality in the workplace. However, it is equally essential for men to actively engage in the gender discussion actively, providing support and advocating for inclusivity.

Christel Pullens, managing director of PortXL, recognised the challenges women often encounter when striving to step up and exude confidence, particularly in the face of scepticism and criticism. She emphasised how individuals respond to these hurdles can significantly impact their success.

Pullens also highlighted that doubt merely reflects another person’s perception, while criticism presents an opportunity for personal growth and learning. According to Pullens, cultivating confidence is paramount for achieving success in the industry.

Tina Benjamin-Lea, project logistics director of Air Products’ NEOM Green H2 Project, said self-doubt could be a healthy attribute that enables you to pause and grow into a more capable individual in your role.

"While you may question yourself, it’s crucial to remember that others place their trust in you, which holds immense significance. Embracing vulnerability is essential, as it showcases your humanity, allowing others to connect with you on a deeper level."

Anna Ude, regional head of sales for Central Europe at deugro, strongly agreed that women must overcome any fears that may hold them back and instead embrace challenges with determination and resilience.

Ude emphasised the importance of facing obstacles head-on, demonstrating that fear should not hinder progress or personal growth. By confronting challenges directly, women can empower themselves and break barriers, ultimately achieving success in their professional endeavours.

Watch a recap of Breakbulk Europe 2023's Women in Breakbulk Breakfast: