Maritime UK, the industry body for the maritime sector, is today launching its new Diversity in Maritime programme. The programme will see the establishment of networks across diversity challenge areas, including the existing Women in Maritime Network plus two inaugural new groups, LGBT+ and Mental Health, which will build upon the structure of Women in Maritime established in 2018.
The UK government’s Maritime 2050 strategy states, “The maritime workforce of the future will be diverse. New roles, new technologies and a changing image of the sector will draw in people from all backgrounds across the entire UK.”
Maritime UK is launching Diversity in Maritime in direct response to the flagship strategy’s recommendations, alongside the establishment of the new Maritime Skills Commission. Taken together, they will ensure the sector has a continuous pipeline of highly skilled, diverse people across its shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries. The UK government has provided £730,000 to boost diversity, well-being and skills in maritime.
According to the Maritime HR Association’s 2019 Gender Market Analysis report, which captured data for over 30,000 employees working in shore-based positions around the globe, the number of women working in the sector increased by 7% over the last 12 months.
Maritime UK will today publish a new resource ‘HR Guidance for Recruiters’ as part of the programme. Employers in the maritime sector will benefit from new, bespoke guidance, written following the analysis of hundreds of job adverts collated from across the sector. The resource highlights ways in which basic assumptions and unconscious biases affect the ways in which jobs are advertised, as well as the easy steps that can be taken to create a more conscious recruitment process. It makes a series of recommendations, with examples, including balancing feminine and masculine words in job descriptions and including statements about what the employer is offering, beyond salary.
A series of webinars to support individual professional development across the sector is also launched today, including sessions on unconscious bias, how to excel on camera when working from home, and masterclasses on public speaking.
Ben Murray, Director, Maritime UK, said:
“Without a diverse workforce we will not be able to tackle the challenges we face – including recovering from Coronavirus or coming up with the solutions to fundamental missions like tackling climate change. A plurality of ideas and creative thinking is critical to the future success of UK maritime, one of Britain’s biggest industries. I’m really encouraged by the response from companies across the country to the new Diversity in Maritime programme, having seen such great collaborative work over the past two years on Women in Maritime.”
Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst, said:
“The Maritime sector offers an incredible variety of exciting roles and I want to make sure these fantastic opportunities can be accessed by everyone, helping the sector remain a truly fantastic place to work. By launching these new diversity networks, we are helping unlock the true potential of our workforce. With many more initiatives to come, I’m confident the industry will continue to develop a positive inclusive working culture as the Women in Maritime programme goes from strength to strength.”
Debbie Cavaldoro, Co-Chair of the Taskforce, said:
“I am delighted to be Co-Chairing the Diversity in Maritime Taskforce. Diversity is critical for our sector and I believe launching the Mental Health and LGBT+ Networks today, whilst ensuring our Women in Maritime network grows, will be a pivotal step forward. I look forward to working with the Taskforce members to ensure there is cross-collaboration and progress being made.”
Sue Terpilowski OBE, Co-Chair of the Taskforce and Chair of the Women in Maritime Network, said:
“I am proud to be Chair of the Women in Maritime Network and Co-Chair of the Diversity in Maritime Taskforce. Since the launch of Women in Maritime in 2018, our network has expanded to over 100 members who have guided development of several initiatives including the Women in Maritime Pledge, Charter, Speaker Bank, Interview Pool and Toolkits. Work is underway to continue grow these and ensure a strong spotlight continues to shine on our gender diversity work.”