Companies from across the UK maritime sector have started to sign a pledge aimed at supporting gender diversity and inclusion across the industry.
The Women in Maritime pledge follows the creation of the Maritime UK’s Women in Maritime Taskforce, which brings together sector leaders to identify practical steps to increase the number of women in maritime and in senior roles in the shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries.
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.
David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK, said: “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.”
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.
“There is a fantastic wealth and breadth of career opportunities in maritime, and I am determined to see more women accessing these.”
Sue Terpilowski, 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.”
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 innovation 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.”