Among the few women heading marketing, especially for an IT company, Rajni opens up about her experience working in the Port Community Systems (PCS) or Single Window (SW) environment and the wider maritime sector. She says, “When I moved to the Maritime IT industry, it was the beginning of the IT revolution. Kale Logistics Solutions is the pioneer in designing next-generation single window systems. There was immense scope from the marketing side to create markets, drive adoption, and sustain it. This prospect highly attracted me.”
She agrees that the industry is male-dominated, “Look at the terms used like sea-men, unmanned, and master, which tell you that this industry was designed for men. Considering that women currently make up 2% of the global maritime workforce, it is fair to say there is room for improvement.”
She firmly believes women bring specific abilities and that we will definitely miss 50% of the entire talent pool if we don’t make this industry attractive to women. “We are facing a severe shortage of talent. Women can bring balance as they are good with analytics, logic, and data.”
Rajni points out that the gender pay gap, the ‘Bro’ culture, lack of family support and mentorship, and low awareness of women-centric professional programs are holding women back.
“At the grass-root levels (from schools), IT technology as a career for women is seldom discussed. The onus for promoting it lies with bodies like the International Maritime Organization (IMO), federal governments, the Ministry of Shipping and Education, and private organizations. Plus, mentoring is another great strategy to help close the gender gap in business leadership.”
She feels the maritime industry needs to encourage the next generation to join our industry.
“The industry never marketed itself to young talent. We must build on our brand and become more visible to young people, ensuring we are at the top of their minds when choosing a career. We are an exciting industry for young personnel, especially women, to consider workplace conditions, family friendliness, and flexible working hours.”
Rajni asserts that elementary schools and universities can get female leaders to participate in ground-up youth events and career fairs to educate young women about a career in logistics. Moreover, companies can organise “Open Houses” by women for women to seek mentorship, coaching, and internship opportunities.
She foresees, “IT is the undisputable future, and the maritime industry will thrive like others. The industry is ready to become more inclusive, and gender diversified. Initiatives like IMO’s SheEO can empower women. Kale is promoting women’s workforce in a big way with flexible work hours, work-from-home options, on-the-job training, merit-based recognition, and work-life balance, and encouraging women to return after sabbaticals. Today, nearly 40% of our workforce is women and they contribute significantly.”
Today, Kale’s 40% of the workforce is females, who contribute significantly