Recognised as a forward-thinking business leader, Singapore-based Damco executive Saskia Groen-in’t-woud received the Telstra Business Woman in Asia Award at the Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2017 Gala Dinner last week.

As the Asia Chief Operating Officer of international logistics provider Damco, Saskia Groen-in’t-woud has championed diversity in a male-dominated industry and driven significant operational improvements within her organisation through the pursuit of technology and process simplification oriented around customer needs.

In her role since 2015, she has played a pivotal role in supporting Damco’s financial turnaround from a $300m loss in 2014 to turning a profit in 2016.

Saskia has always chosen the non-traditional route in her career and she seized every possible opportunity to develop a global career. Having studied business at a small regional university in Queensland, she worked her way up from being a small business owner, to her current role as the Asia COO for Damco. Starting from December this year, she is taking on the role of Global COO role for the company.

Currently managing 3,500, Saskia finds it incredibly satisfying to address business problems and build high performing teams by finding the balance of using smarts, courage and heart. Throughout her career, she has been taking seriously the opportunity to pay it forward by encouraging women to take difficult roles. Now as a leader, she is also committed to make things easier for women to come through.

In her acceptance speech at the Telstra Women’s Business Awards Gala Dinner, Saskia said winning the Award helped her form an important platform to take bigger and bolder actions towards inclusion in the future.

“We are stronger in ourselves when the support and feedback we have around us help us, and the inputs we get from those shape us.”

“It takes courage and conviction for women in business to succeed, but it is also essential for us to leverage our natural strengths – to learn from others, listen and collaborate. That’s why I am ecstatic and delighted to be here at this point in time where so much change is possible. Winning the Award is so exciting – not just for myself, but for women across Asia,” added Saskia.

Winning the Award means Saskia is joining the Telstra Business Women’s Awards Alumni network of more than 2,000 women who have been named finalists over more than two decades. The Alumni network also welcomes other finalists from this year, including Anna Tham from ACE EdVenture Group (Malaysia), Fern Ngai from Community Business (Hong Kong), Gayathri Vasudevan from LabourNet (India), Geeta Dharmarajan from Katha (India), Michele Lai from Kids4Kid (Hong Kong), and Nicole McMillan from Mars Wrigley Confectionary (Singapore).

For more information on the Telstra Business Woman in Asia Award and to nominate outstanding women for the 2018 Awards, click here.