Living and working in the cultural melting pot of Durban on South Africa’s East Coast, Sajeda Peer has long been fascinated by people.

Words: David Nikel Photos: Hans Fredrik Asbjørnsen

Although her career began in IT and administration, Peer’s interest in people began early.

“I worked on first-line support, answering calls and helping people with their everyday IT problems. Talking to so many people on a daily basis was insightful and lay the foundation for my career.”

Peer now heads up the HR & QHSSE team. She is responsible for the tools and processes across Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) South Africa. An important aspect of the role is supporting local projects in South Africa. One project very close to her heart is ‘I Care’, an initiative to give street kids a future through a better environment and education. It’s a project that WSS chooses to support locally.

“Every time we work with these children it touches my heart and reminds me how fortunate I am to be in my position. Some of these kids have never experienced a family life.”

The commitment shown by the Wilhelmsen group to supporting social projects such as this is one of the main reasons Peer enjoys her role so much.

“I am proud to work for an organisation with core values that you can live by every day. Throughout my career I’ve met people from such a diverse range of cultures. Hearing their stories and experiences helps me put things into perspective and gives me a new way of looking at challenges.”