UK Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP joined the first meeting of maritime sector's new Women in Maritime Taskforce, demonstrating government support for the initiative.
At the meeting she said: “This task force will be crucial in opening up the wealth of career opportunities in the maritime industry to women around the country.
“The UK has one of the most competitive maritime sectors in the world and with only 3% of the workforce being women, it is vital more take advantage of the exciting opportunities the sector has to offer.
“Today’s meeting will start the journey towards better understanding equality and inclusion in the sector and I want to see many more women taking up careers in maritime.”
Maritime UK – the umbrella body for the UK’s shipping, ports, business services, engineering and leisure marine industries – has established a Taskforce to address fairness, equality and inclusion within the maritime sector.
Maritime makes a significant contribution to the UK economy, generating £40bn in GVA and supporting just under 1,000,000 jobs. The sector facilitates trade with £500bn each year, some 95% of the UK’s imports and exports.
The first meeting of the Taskforce brought together leaders from across the maritime sector to start identifying practical steps to increase the number of women in maritime, and crucially within senior roles across its industries.
The Taskforce is first working to properly understand the various issues affecting the sector – including recruitment, pay, progression and retention.
David Dingle, Chairman of Maritime UK said
: “I welcome the new Taskforce and look forward to its recommendations. The entire maritime sector needs to do much more to address gender imbalance.
“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. HM Treasury attended the meeting to share their experience of working with the financial services sector to increase gender diversity.