European maritime employers mark Women’s Day 2019 by renewing their commitment to working for Women in Shipping

The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) is supporting the International Maritime Organization’s ( IMO’s) focus on women in maritime, with the 2019 World Maritime Day theme of ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’’. This aims to ensure a renewed focus on the IMO Women in the Maritime programme, and on achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 5, throughout 2019.

ECSA member associations also played key roles in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) tripartite meeting last week which considered how to promote opportunities for women to work at sea. The meeting highlighted the need to ensure that recruitment campaigns encourage female applicants and that a shipboard environment is provided where women seafarers are respected and their contributions are properly valued.

ECSA has, throughout the last year, taken steps forward to make the shipping industry a more attractive and safer place to work for women and to promote equal opportunities for women and men in the transport sector. It co-organised a workshop in June and is collating examples of successful initiatives and best practices at national level to increase the participation of females in shipping.

“Diversity is necessary for industry growth. Diversity is important not just for diversity’s sake, but because it brings in the skills that move an industry forward. Shipping is no different. However, this is a time when companies are looking into alternative ways of working, influenced by digitalisation and the age of innovation we are currently in. These present an opportunity to attract more women in the shipping industry. To recruit the talent needed, shipping needs to rebrand itself in order to be seen as: diverse, young, adaptive, digital,” said Martin Dorsman, Secretary General of ECSA.

“A strong, prosperous and socially sustainable European maritime industry would highly benefit from promoting gender diversity and equality of opportunity. We need to do more to attract and retain more talent, including women, to the industry. Our national associations and shipping companies are giving particular attention to attracting women and girls to the sector in order to encourage the take-up in the EU and to eliminate bullying and harassment through a zero tolerance environment. Some examples are work by our members in UK, Denmark and Sweden. More has to be done by all stakeholders in the maritime industry to ensure it is a welcoming, open and innovative sector. We look forward to developing further our commitments throughout this IMO maritime year,” said Tim Springett, ECSA spokesperson in the sectoral social dialogue for maritime transport.