Women Of Swiss World Cargo
Women leaders at Swiss WorldCargo (left to right)—Lisa Doo,
Manager Beijing; Maria Campanella, Senior Marketing Communication Executive;
Silvia Cappelli, Senior PR & Online Communication Executive; Annette
Kreuziger, Senior Manager, Head of Marketing; Julia Dellinger, Manager
Business Intelligence; Christine Barden, Senior Manager, Head of Transportation
Processes and Lalin Sabuncuoglu-Janssen, Managing Director, Head of
great chef Julia Child defined “swish” as informal; posh—"a
swish pastry shop on the Rue du Bac," she once wrote.
There are other meanings for
that slang word, but the lady who acted as Julia in a movie and now
as Margaret Thatcher in a new film (she is nominated for yet another
Academy Award for her portrayal in Iron Lady), Meryl Streep,
once walked up to us and asked “How is my Swish?”
The Grand Dame was wondering about Geoffrey
II, who acted with her in a stage rendition of Mother Courage &
Geoffrey II played the character “Swiss
Cheese” in Tony Kushner’s stage version of the Berthold
Brecht anti-war masterpiece a couple years back.
So now, "Swish" is also an endearment,
unless you want to argue with Meryl Streep.
Fast forward to last month in Zurich.
Here I am in the cafeteria at Swiss WorldCargo
Headquarters with these lovely women; they are a vital part of a team
effort to market an effective global air freight operation, an operation
that is consistently rated among the best, most admired in the world
and always seems to turn a profit.
“Pretty Swish” I am thinking,
as silk rustles about the room and we meet for a straight-from-the-heart
air cargo throw down—a tell-it-like-it-is four square.
Some Q&A before our buffet luncheon
reveals that these ladies are both in the moment and well equipped to
continue building their success in business and the fortunes of Swiss
Also beneath the gracious welcome and
hopeful comments, there is some rock hard seriousness.
This is a determined bunch, brought together
and developed as part of a cohesive working team that herald from all
over the globe.
They are smart and beautiful and are
very quick to say that a woman’s rise to the top is based on merit
and an even playing field, and not driven by what are generally viewed
as self limiting quotas.
Manager Business Intelligence, is one smart cookie.
“Air cargo is quite a complex and
interesting industry, but to me that is what makes working here exciting,”
says Julia Dellinger.
“No two days are the same as we
go about the business of delivering solutions to a myriad of shipping
“What really stands out for me
is that, by and large, the people in the air cargo business are a real
pleasure to work with.”
“I also enjoy spending some time
in the cargo warehouse occasionally,“ Julia Dellinger smiles.
Ask Annette Kreuziger,
Senior Manager, Head of Marketing, what attracts her to air cargo and
right away she says “the education you receive and friends you
make and see again and again at industry events such as Transport Logistic.”
(Held in Munich, Germany every other year-next in 2013)
“Air cargo is very much a people
business, with many frank and open individuals.
“Often the feeling is that I am
part of a big logistics family.
“To me, logistics is both interesting
“I have recommended to everybody,
including my colleagues in the passenger side of the airline, to get
into air cargo,” says Ms. Kreuziger.
Manager Beijing, has just joined the cargo team this day in Zurich,
but to hear her speak she may as well have been there for years.
“I am the first in my family to
go into the air cargo business.
“After graduation from college
I decided to go into logistics.
“At that time I did not have the
whole picture of logistics, so I took a job at a forwarding company.
“Step by step I gained experience
in the business, serving also as a GSA before joining Swiss WorldCargo.
“The move from the forwarder side
to the airline business was easy and natural for me.
“If there is one thing that I have
learned during my ten years, it is that there must be great attention
paid to teamwork between all parties.
“I am especially fond of the fact
that even though I may not have regular face to face encounters with
our customers, the overall spirit of cooperation and trust has been
built up through many experiences in the process.
“We feel that by working together
with people in other lands, we are helping each other and from that
solid foundation, real friendships are built,” Lisa concludes.
There is no question that when it is
about building bridges of understanding in China for Swiss WorldCargo,
Lisa Doo does it.
Senior Manager, Head of Transportation Processes, manages to balance
the rearing of a newborn baby with a soaring career, thank you very
And her take on the everyday experience
of her role of building the Swiss WorldCargo franchise is delightful.
“It’s quite nice, actually,
to be a woman in air cargo today.
“You have to be up to the task,
professional and with a total grasp on what you are about.
“But often there is a cordiality
in how business is conducted that is quite pleasant, especially in the
way men greet us and increasingly listen to what we have to say.
“I am often in meetings where everyone
else is wearing a black suit, but that is also changing in 2011.
“Air cargo that operates six miles
up is really very down to earth, and as everyone else here has said,
the industry is by and large a people business.
“Air cargo has little of the shine,
glitz and glamour of the passenger business, but in dealing with people
who are pragmatic and also know what they are doing, it is quite attractive
“I can say having just given birth
seven months ago to a beautiful baby daughter, I would tell her that
working in air cargo logistics is a great career.
“I am fortunate enough to have
been working with a couple of female interns who also like the business,
so I can also suppose that female numbers in the industry will continue
their upward trend in the coming years.
“The secret of just how rewarding
the air cargo experience can be should be heard by women everywhere,”
Senior PR & Online Communications Executive, has overseen the emergence
of SwissWorld Cargo on the Internet as a dynamic and forward thinking
“Logistics was actually not in
my plans at all.
“Just like many things in life,
I got into air cargo by chance.
“Firstly, I never thought I would
be fascinated by this industry because by reputation or fiction, air
cargo logistics is known as a ‘tough guy’ business, which
is the exact opposite of where I would fit.
“But then as logistics opened up
to me, the industry revealed itself to be about all the basics in life:
transportation, the world, and of course some really great and constantly
interesting people,” said Ms. Cappelli.
is one of five cargo division heads and as Managing Director Head of
Market Europe, she is also a recent convert to air cargo.
Lalin, who hails from Turkey, is glad
she made the move.
“I joined the air cargo logistics
business one year ago after spending 21 years in the airline passenger
“I wanted to stay in an international
business and was curious about air cargo logistics, but really had no
clue about it.
“I always teased Oliver (Oliver
Evans, SWC Managing Director) that the Swiss WorldCargo team is like
a tribe that travels, eats and always seems to do everything together.
“So naturally I wondered if it
would be tough to become part of this family, but I quickly discovered
it was easy.
“Today I agree with a colleague who said of air cargo logistics:
‘You either will run away from it within three months or you will
continue for a lifetime.’
“Well, I am still here, having
decided the direct, innovative and, as said here, people-driven aspect
of the industry is quite attractive.
“People get to the point, make
quick decisions and implement their ideas rather than sitting on them,
and of course this is also an international business that to me is quite
“In air cargo logistics here, you
work for an airline, have a great amount of freedom and are connected
to the entire world.
“But lets face it, the experience
of being a woman in air cargo is not without some surprise.
“At TIACA one supplier stood in
front of me and declared, ‘It’s a man’s world!’
“So of course I told him straightaway:
‘I don’t care!’
“His reaction in stopping that
line of thought, at least in our conversation, confirms to me at least
that standing up for your beliefs can be educational.
“Change comes slowly, but women
are increasingly part of the air cargo logistics business worldwide.
“Quite often now I am dealing with
other women on global accounts at big international shipping companies
who are my opposite number.
“Even the warehouse, which is by
most counts a male bastion, has opened up.
“My belief is to get into the warehouse
where the shipments move when I make calls.
“Everything is opening up to us
and that can only make the industry better,” concluded Lalin.
Senior Marketing Communications Executive, is a familiar face at every
major world cargo event that Swiss attends, as it is her task to make
sure the show goes on when it comes to exhibitions.
“Actually, my first choice was
not air cargo logistics, but rather marketing.
“But the marketing choices here
a dozen years ago were air cargo or look for another job, so I joined
and today am glad to say everything has worked out quite well.
“Indeed, I am still here, able
to do every aspect of marketing for the Swiss WorldCargo global product,
including Internet, brochures, and trade shows.
“We handle the entire package from
top to bottom and that, as it turns out, has been an advantage all around,”
Asked what can a woman do in air cargo
that a man cannot, Maria says instantly:
“We are woman and we know what
As she speaks and everyone laughs, she
looks at Oliver Evans, so following that lead we invite the boss to
have the last word:
“As a global Swiss company, we
need to make use of all of our resources, including speaking the languages
and understanding the cultures of the world.
“That means having our doors open
to everyone equally, and by last count roughly 50 percent of the talent
in the world are women.
“So we will continue to seek out
people of particular talent and drive from all cultures, and as mentioned
that will mean an even greater role for women at Swiss WorldCargo.”
There's another definition for 'swish'
which has more to do with the onomatopoetic virtues inherent in the
word—swish can be the rustling of soft fabric moving against itself,
or an object rapidly passing another, or, most appropriately, the sound
of a basketball passing through a hoop unimpinged. FlyingTypers
thinks this last definition best describes Swiss' mounting success stories—one
perfect shot after the next.
Here from The New Yorker a photo taken by Brigette LaCombe
captures Mutter Meryl Streep (hand-up) on our son Geoffrey Arend II
with Fredrick Weller and Alexandria Wailes.