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In a male-dominated industry, women are leaders of a thriving logistics firm.

The Philippine logistics industry is known as a 'man's world' but there is one company headed by a mother of four that has continuously thrived by slugging it out with the 'big boys' in the game for more than 30 years.

Airspeed, an end-to-end logistics solutions and express courier company founded in 1985, has become one of the most trusted and fastest-growing logistics companies in the country today through the leadership and vision of its Chairman and President Rosemarie P. Rafael.

Although it could be exceptional gender-wise, it is not unlikely that a woman holds the top position in a highly successful logistics company. What is certainly extraordinary and significant is that 80 percent of Airspeed's top executives and 45 percent of Airspeed's middle tier managers, the people responsible for Airspeed's achievements, are women.

Rafael said Airspeed is proof that in an industry where men make most of the deals and decisions, women's visions and perspectives are just as valued, judging by the company's rapid rise.

Rafael pointed out she has chosen to empower women at Airspeed because women are naturally nurturing, and she believes that when people are supported and enabled, they could do great and impossible things. Moreover, Rafael also believed that her greatest competitive edge as a leader is being able to care deeply about her team. In fact, she considers her people as Airspeed's biggest success.

Some of the women working under the wings of Rafael are General Manager and Senior Vice President Mariz Regis who takes care of the international team and e-commerce pickup and delivery department; Assistant General Manager (for International) Maritoni Rey; Executive Vice President And Chief Financial Officer Eliza Nieveras who heads the finance and administration; Chief Commercial Officer Grace Pascual who handles and trains the corporate sales team; Chief Information Technology Officer Liza Marquez who heads the management information system department; Chief Human Resources Officer Emilee Alfonso who handles the whole people management division; Vice President for Seafreight Thelma Manila, and Vice President for Pick-Up And Delivery Josefa Susbilla.

Being a women-led organization, Rafael pointed out, there is a whale of a difference in the way Airspeed do business. The 'motherly instinct' that women possess transcends work at Airspeed to a personal level. Management treats employees like family, which is why employee turnover is very minimal. When the management team handles clients, they also make sure they do not focus simply on making a sale but ensure that they feel cared for by Airspeed.

Airspeed's women leaders are not only experts in their respective fields but visionaries, as well. They are determined individuals who are devoted to make things happen and are committed to foster work-life integration. Because they see the bigger picture, the women of Airspeed know that Airspeed employees must be able to adapt to the fast-changing landscape of logistics.

Airspeed continuously trains and educates employees through seminars, conferences, and similar activities to remain up to date and stay competitive. To find ways and means of improving existing systems and technologies, employees, especially women, with the ability to innovate and the talent for disruption are stimulated, encouraged and rewarded at Airspeed.

Rafael said Airspeed aims to get high respect from its peers and clients, a brand, which is synonymous with reliability and integrity, and the preferred corporate logistics provider in the country. In the male dominated logistics industry, the women of Airspeed are doing their best to make it happen.
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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Aug 7, 2019
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