Stevedoring services are historically associated with men, limiting the opportunities for women in port operations. In 2013, Manzanillo International Terminal Panama S.A. (MIT) broke ground in gender equity by including female operators for the ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, training women as controllers of automatic cranes and by promoting women in leadership roles.
Before 2013, there were no women operators at MIT Cranes department and few chances for women to operate heavy equipment. Liduvina Joseph used to work in other department of the terminal and was chosen to train in the operation of STS cranes. Once the training was completed, Liduvina became the first female operator in Panama.
In the following years, more women were included for this position. Currently seven proud women operate and provide maintenance to the 19 cranes of the terminal, being the firsts and only women operating this equipment on Panama. The initiative shows women capacity and talent to perform a job previously executed exclusively by men.
MIT is also pioneer in automation, with the first six automatic stacking cranes (ASC) for yard operations. The cranes, that work with RFID technology and state-of-the-art software to optimize the location of containers in the yard, are controlled remotely mostly by women. This type of technology was first introduced in Latin America by MIT and provides women an opportunity to work in a unique and innovative position, controlling the operation of the automatic cranes.
The terminal promotes gender equity in supervising levels as well. As of the beginning of 2018, 41% of the managers are women. Departments led by women include: Gate, Security, Safety and Claims, Training and Development, Purchasing, Business Performance, Documentation, Dispatch, Community Development, Internal Affairs and Labor Relations.
MIT has over 20 years of successful operation in the Caribbean, part of the success is caused by the fair opportunities given to all employees.