In light of the situation, Sue Terpilowski, Co-Chair of the Diversity in Maritime Taskforce said:

"I am proud to celebrate ABP becoming the latest company to join the Charter family and shining a spotlight on two of their regions, Southampton and East Anglia. Women’s equality cannot wait, and we believe achieving a balanced workforce at all levels in the maritime sector will undoubtedly improve culture, behaviour, outcomes, profitability and productivity. We look forward to welcoming other companies into the programme".

In addition, the Charter is a pivotal initiative in the Diversity in Maritime programme. Eleven organisations are now Charter organisations: Bruntons Propellers, Shoreham Port, Fleetwood Nautical Campus, MFB Solicitors, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Hutchison Ports – Port of Felixstowe, IHS Markit, PNTL, Forth Ports and ABP’s Southampton and East Anglia regions.

As part of the charter program, Maritime UK includes the following:

  • Diversity in Maritime networks: Four networks, Women, Mental Health, Pride and Ethnicity, were established and expanded on as part of the Diversity in Maritime programme. The networks bring together individuals from protected characteristics, and allies, from across the maritime sector in a safe-space environment to share good practice and discuss barriers faced. The networks are supported by four working groups who create solutions to combat barriers.
  • Online toolkit: a continuously updated online toolkit with best practice guides and policies.
  • Interview Pool: which loans maritime women to companies that may lack diversity on interview panels. Research by the Women in Maritime Network identified all that more diverse interview panels or panels with HR professionals with diversity are more likely to recruit a diverse workforce. However, several smaller companies highlighted that they do not have access to such recruiters within their staff. The interview pool provides a facility for these companies to access relevant skills and expertise.
  • Speaker Bank: provides a database of diverse speakers for panels and conferences with specific industry expertise.

For the record, ABP was the first UK port operator to provide female personal protective equipment (PPE).

The move represented a great step in ABP’s efforts to support the role of women in maritime, whilst also further improving safety standards and choice for its workforce. In line with its commitment to increase the number of female hires, in 2020, women represented 57% of ABP’s graduate intake and the company appointed four women into senior management roles.

"At ABP, we are committed to building a more inclusive, diverse and open working community, so that colleagues can be themselves at work every day. I am incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made so far and look forward to continuing to build on these strong foundations in future".

...Alison Rumsey, ABP Chief Human Resources Officer and Maritime Skills Commissioner, added.

Concluding, currently over than 120 companies have been signed the statement of intent to demonstrate commitment to making progress on diversity.