From supporting our marine pilots, to connecting with business areas including vendor legislation and cyclone planning, our Manager Maritime Services Cheree Figg has an integral role. Cheree shares her thoughts on working alongside male colleagues, the value of respect and staying challenged.

Q. What is your role and what does a typical day look like?

My role with North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) is as the Senior Manager Maritime Services.

After 12 years with my previous employer it is a very new chapter for me so a lot of listening and learning every day. Each day is dynamic and involves a lot of different maritime connections; anything from cyclone plans, vendor management, legislation, process improvements, supporting the pilotage team, attending meetings and building relationships with our key stakeholders in all ports.

Q. This year's theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Each for equal’ – an equal world is an enabled world. What does this mean to you?

An enabled world provides opportunity and inclusiveness to everyone, everywhere.

It’s about value and respect for your colleagues and your community and supporting those around you.

Q. What is the most challenging part of your job?

The only guarantee in this industry is change, and that’s the good thing about this role, not every day is the same – this provides for challenging situations but great opportunities for learning.

Q. How do you find working in a male-dominated industry?

I love working in the industry. I have always had great support from both men and women in all my roles in the industry, from my time as an agent to my role now with NQBP.

I grew up in a small town with three older brothers so have always felt comfortable working with men.

Q. What advice do you have for other women pursuing careers in traditionally male-dominated industries?

I think we need to start simply referring to industry and not use the word dominated. We need to reach out to the younger generation in high school and open up their mindsets by providing insights into career options.

The advice to young women is to do some work experience, test the job like you would in any other industry, and if it is something your passionate about doing, give it a go.

Find a mentor, or join a networking group on social media, talk to others in similar situations and learn from each other and support each other.