Maritime UK has established a Taskforce to address fairness, equality and inclusion within the maritime sector.
The Taskforce brings together leaders from across the maritime sector to identify practical steps to increase the number of women in maritime, and crucially within senior roles across its shipping, ports, marine and business services industries.
Achieving a balanced workforce at all levels in the maritime sector will undoubtedly improve culture, behaviour, outcomes, profitability and productivity.
During London International Shipping Week, then Maritime Minister Rt Hon John Hayes MP called for industry to address gender imbalance in the sector. Government are represented on the Taskforce.
The Taskforce will make a series of recommendations and utilise best practice from other sectors that have taken similar action.
Sue Terpilowski, Chair of the Taskforce, said: “The need for fairness, equality and inclusion is clearer than ever and the maritime sector must embrace diversity because it’s the right thing to do.
“Equally there is a strong business case for action. The OECD has estimated that equalising the role of men and women in the labour market could increase GDP by 10% by 2030.
“There are women of all ages and abilities wanting to be a part of our maritime future and we must make sure we don’t waste any more time in not addressing this issue.”
David Dingle, Chair of Maritime UK, said: “I welcome this new Taskforce and look forward to its recommendations. The entire maritime sector needs to do much more to address gender imbalance.
“Just looking at the Merchant Navy, the ITF estimates that women make up only 2% of the world’s maritime workforce, and those figures are replicated here in the UK too.
“Of the 14,350 officers in our country, only 3% are women. Only 4% of our technical officers are women. Of the 6,500 engine officers, only 1% are women. It means that talented women could be missing out on careers in which they could best use those talents. Maritime UK will be leading by example, too, and urging members to nominate women leaders to sit on the Board.”
Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair of the Transport Select Committee, said: “The news that leaders from across the maritime sector are examining ways to improve the representation of women in their industry, including in senior roles, is very welcome. A plan to tackle gender inequality isn’t just ‘nice to have’, it’s essential, because right now our maritime sector is missing out on the skills and talents of outstanding women.
“I look forward to hearing more about the Taskforce’s conclusions and seeing practical action to support a more diverse workforce,” she stressed.