Roundtable: the women fighting for equality in maritime

Representing only a fraction of the maritime industry’s largely male-dominated workforce, women are pushing for change and equality. With several recruitment initiatives kicking off across the sector, we asked leading women in the industry: what needs to be done to attract more female workers to the maritime sector?

The year 2019 is (hopefully) going to be a turning point for women in the maritime industry.
A minority across all parts of the sector, the recruitment of women in both junior and senior roles within shipping companies is on the rise, with maritime organisations increasingly promoting the benefits of a gender-balanced workforce.
A testament to this the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) decision to make ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’ this year’s theme for World Maritime Day. Celebrated September this year, the day was marked by a number of national and international activities aimed at making shipping a more attractive workplace for women, as well as encouraging them to pursue senior roles.

A few weeks earlier, a two-day Women in Shipping Summit headlined the London International Shipping Week 2019. At this event, some of the most high-profile women leaders in the sector gathered to discuss tackling gender bias and mentoring a new generation of female employees in this traditionally conservative and male-dominated sector.
Considering that women currently make up just 2% of the global maritime workforce (according to figures from the International Transport Workers’ Federation), it’s fair to say there is room for improvement.
As the sector cruises into a new era of modernisation and inclusion, we asked female representatives form the industry: what needs to be done to attract more women to the maritime sector? And how is the sector doing on this issue?

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