Setting out to increase fairness, equality and inclusion within the maritime sector, Maritime UK has established a Women in Maritime Taskforce, a move welcomed by the U.K.’s new Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP.
“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,” said Ghani, who is only the second woman to hold the Department for Transport portfolio for the U.K.’s £40 billion maritime sector.
“There is a fantastic wealth and breadth of career opportunities in maritime, and I am determined to see more women accessing these,” Ghani said.
Ghani’s predecessor, Rt Hon John Hayes MP, called for industry to address gender imbalance in the sector during London International Shipping Week in September 2017.
“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,” Ghani 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,” said Taskforce Chair, Sue Terpilowski of WISTA UK. “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.”
“Equally there is a strong business case for action,” Terpilowski said. Achieving a balanced workforce at all levels in the maritime sector will improve culture, behavior, outcomes, profitability and productivity.
“The OECD has estimated that equalizing the role of men and women in the labor market could increase GDP by 10 percent by 2030,” Terpilowski added.
The new 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.
The taskforce will make a series of recommendations and utilize best practice from other sectors that have taken similar action.
“I welcome this new taskforce and look forward to its recommendations. The entire maritime sector needs to do much more to address gender imbalance,” said David Dingle
, Chair of Maritime UK.
“Just looking at the Merchant Navy, the ITF estimates that women make up only 2 percent of the world’s maritime workforce, and those figures are replicated here in the U.K. too,” Dingle said. “Of the 14,350 officers in our country, only 3 percent are women. Only 4 percent of our technical officers are women. Of the 6,500 engine officers, only 1 percent 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,” Dingle said.
Lilian Greenwood MP, Chair of the Transport select committee, also welcomed the new taskforce: “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.”
Taskforce members include:
- Sue Terpilowski, WISTA UK
- Alison Lockyer, DfT
- Sarah Dhanda, British Marine
- Elizabeth Paull, Aquatec
- Karen Waltham, HR Network
- Iain Mackinnon, MSA
- Ruth Hodgson, Mersey Maritime
- Anne-Marie Mountifield, Solent LEP
- Sarah West, ABP
- Andrew Moffatt, Port of Tyne
- Nicky Goldsbrough, Shoreham Port
- Justine Brown, DP World Europe
- Kirsi Tikka, American Bureau of Shipping
- Julie Lithgow, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers
- Nicola d’Hubert,Lloyds Register
- Bridget Hogan, Nautical Institute
- Debbie Cavaldoro, Nautilus
- Kathy Stanzel, Intertanko
- Paula Porter, Carnival UK
- Guy Platten/Holly Birkett, UK Chamber of Shipping
- Nicola Good, IHS Fairplay
- Helen Kelly, Lloyd's List