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Chand Hopes To See More Women At Shipping Senior Level

Chand Hopes To See More Women At Shipping Senior Level
Ashika Chand (middle) with her awards flanked by ILO Director Donglin Li (left
July 11
11:00 2018

Women have claimed their space in the local shipping industry and are doing bet­ter than the expectations of their employers, so says Swire Shipping Fiji Human Resource Manager Ashika Chand.

Ms Chand an advocate for Women in Maritime (Fiji) Association (FJWIMA) is encouraging women to take up a career in the male domi­nated working environment.

“I started off as a reliever for a fel­low woman who had gone on mater­nity leave,” Ms Chand said.

“Actually I wanted to be a chef and while waiting around for the right time I was offered the relieving re­sponsibility,” she said.

“After relieving the then Pacific Shipping Agencies (PSA) gave me a job with the documentation unit then it was to vessel clearance.

“With my foot already in, I hung on steadily as the opportunity to learn from the best was right there.

“I overcame my fear for the sea, part of my job was to board vessels to clear out cargo.”

The mother of two boys aged eight and one believes in empowering those within rather than hiring from outside when a vacancy is there.

This is the 18th year she has been with almost the same group of pro­fessionals after Swire Shipping Limited took over from PSA.

“I was the only woman in the man­agement team then, now there are three of us.


“In our Lautoka office majority of those in the supervisory and man­agement level are women,” she said.

Last month Ms Chand was one of the 29 nominations for the 2018 Fiji Human Resource Manager of the Year category at the Fiji HR Institute Awards.

Her name was part of those short listed twice from 14 to 9 nominees af­ter which one candidate was chosen for the award.

Candidates went through months and weeks of internal and external moderation by judges from the lo­cal HR fraternity and International Labour Organization.

“I did not receive a silver platter, it was difficult through the years but I took it on as part of my experience as I was taking up new roles.

“With my work I drive through the challenges, sometimes I used to think whether what I was doing was worthwhile; I continually tell my­self that this was all preparing me for a bigger picture.

So far, Ms Chand has held eight dif­ferent positions of which three are management positions.

Under CNCo Mrs Chand outlined the vessels her teams look after the fol­lowing:

  •  Fiji – NZ-Australia –PNG – Asia (ESEA/NA-NB Service) route. The vessels include Kwangtung V1810N, Szechuen V1811N and Kweilin V1812N;
  •  Fiji – Pacific Islands – North Asia (PNA Service); vessels in­clude 20 New Guinea Chief V1809N, Papuan Chief V1810N, Coral Chief V1812N; and
  •  Fiji – Pacific Islands – Australia (PI Service); vessels include Forum Samoa 4 V4, and Melansian Pride V4.

“I would like to thank China Navigation Company (CNCo) Chris De Villiers for supporting my nomination, CNCo as a whole for entrusting me with this position, my husband and my mother for be­ing the cornerstone of my achieve­ments and of course my staff here at the Fiji branch for their loyalty and trusting in me as without their support I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this award,” she said.

Swire Shipping

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