In the male-dominated Philippine logistics industry, there is a company headed by a mother of four and has been successfully thriving and slugging it out with the “Big Boys” for more than 30 years. Airspeed is an end-to-end logistics solutions and express courier company founded in 1985 by Chairman and President Rosemarie P. Rafael. Through the leadership and vision of Mrs. Rafael, Airspeed has become one of the most trusted and fastest-growing logistics companies in the country today.
A closer look at Airspeed reveals why it stands out in the cargo and logistics industry and exposes the most probable reason why it continues to grow and prosper. Although it is unusual, 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% of Airspeed’s top executives and 45% of Airspeed’s middle-tier managers, the people responsible for Airspeed’s achievements, are WOMEN!
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 their rapid rise. Rafael has chosen to empower women at Airspeed because women are naturally nurturing, and she believes that when people are supported and enabled, they do great and impossible things. Rafael also believes 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 Pick-Up 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.
Having a majority of women leaders makes a difference in the way Airspeed does its business. The motherly instincts that women possess transcend 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 making 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 like 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.
Airspeed aims to be a company that is highly respected by 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.