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Leading UK maritime companies sign gender diversity pledge

Leading UK maritime companies sign gender diversity pledge

(Posted on 15/06/18)

Leading members of industry body Maritime UK have signed a pledge aimed at supporting gender diversity and inclusion across the sector.

The women in Maritime pledge follows the creation of the Women in Maritime Taskforce, which promotes maritime activities as a career vocation for women in the sector and seeks to resolve gender inequality in global seafaring. The Taskforce also brings together sector leaders to identify practical steps to increase the number of women in maritime and in senior roles in the shipping, ports, marine and business services industries.

Those who have signed the pledge will be invited to engage with the development of the charter, which is due to be launched in autumn 2018. All companies signing the pledge will be making clear their support for creating positive change within their respective organisations and across the UK maritime sector.

The maritime sector moves 95% of Britain’s international trade, supporting nearly a million UK jobs (932,000) or one in every 33. It directly employs 185,000 people.

Andrew Moffat, Chief Executive of the Port of Tyne and one of the first signatories to the pledge, said, “Companies that embrace workplace diversity and inclusion as a source of growth and will perform better than those that don’t. We’re pleased to join so many companies from across the industry taking this seriously, which will mean we have a far greater positive impact on the whole sector.”

David Dingle CBE, Chairman 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.”

Sue Terpilowski, OBE, Chair of the Women in Maritime 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.

Nusrat Ghani MP, Maritime Minister, said, “I am delighted to see Maritime UK taking action to attract more women into our maritime industries, and I welcome this Taskforce as an important first step.

“In the autumn, the Government challenged maritime leaders, businesses and colleges to find ways of increasing the number of women in the sector, and it is great to see them respond in this way.

“There is a fantastic wealth and breadth of career opportunities in maritime, and I am determined to see more women accessing these.”

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