Equality in focus at Port of Södertälje

Historically, port operations have been a male-dominated industry. Ten years ago there were only men working as dockers at the Port of Södertälje. However, the situation and the working environment are completely different now.

Many people associate working in the docks as hard work with unsocial working hours and heavy lifting. To a certain extent, this is still the case. All sorts of things are unloaded on the quays, from large house modules to bridge sections that weigh several hundred tonnes. However, most of the work nowadays is carried out using machines and advanced tools. Instead, dock work now requires more focus, speed and agility than strength. There is little difference between a man or a woman.

- We just see it as a positive development that more women want to work as dockers, says Robert Tingvall, Managing Director at Port of Södertälje. Diversity is enriching and contributes to an improved work climate and a more open and modern sector. We are pleased to see more women applying for jobs here.

16 % of the dock workers at the Port of Södertälje are now women. This is a step in the right direction compared to the situation ten years ago, where the figure was 0. There are many benefits of having mixed groups. One of the most tangible benefits is that the jargon within the working groups has relaxed. Another is that there are more perspectives represented in the improvement work.

- The atmosphere in the group is positive, we can laugh and joke with each other. We work on the same terms as the guys, and promotion is based on your own determination and performance instead of your gender, says Alexandra Söderlund, dock worker at Port of Södertälje and also shown in the picture.

- We do the same work, but we see things differently and can bring new perspectives to how things are done on a purely practical level. I think it is good that we can contribute with different views. It is positive for the work climate, says Fanny Norlind, dock worker at Port of Södertälje.

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