With maritime industry experiencing an era of immense change, trying to follow the latest trends of digitalization, automation, environmental protection and diversity, there is still a lot of work to be done on supporting qualified women in leadership positions.
uring the years, more and more companies and organizations join their forces and focus on several initiatives, with the aim to equip women with leadership skills and confidence in order to take a seat at the shipping decision-making table.
However, despite such efforts, gender pay gap, lack of full and effective participation of women and equal opportunities at all levels, are still a “hot potato” within the industry.
According to Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry President of World Maritime University (WMU) although the number of women graduating from universities and other educational and training institutions with oceans and maritime programmes has increased rapidly in the last few decades, their engagement, retention and promotion to leadership in all areas of ocean activities, and particularly the shipping related maritime sector still needs a boost.
This is the case not only at the seagoing seafarer level, but also in the numerous connected activities in ports and logistics, as well as legal and other services.
We have to ensure that all companies promote diversity by having a Gender Index globally. In fact, all companies should take and publish such an index, where they are ranked as to how friendly tier policies are with regard to gender, the ratio of women, recruitment patters, pay gap and so on.
… Mrs Sanjam Sahi Gupta noted.
Speaking of women in shipping, a recent study by Spinnaker’s Maritime HR Association revealed that the industry remains a male-dominant sector, due to the remarkable fact that only the 5% of maritime leadership roles is occupied by women.
At the same time, World Economic Forum stated that more women lost their jobs than men, while high-frequency LinkedIn data shows a decline of women’s hiring into leadership roles.
Historically, the maritime industry has been characterized to have less female participation and male domination – inclusivity was not common among the companies. Although in the past two decades the maritime sector has seen a rise in female participation, still there is a long way to go.
……as Mrs Sanjam Sahi Gupta, founder member of Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) India said in an exclusive interview with SAFETY4SEA.
Regarding the rise of women in leadership positions, the ‘Women in Business 2021’ report brought a sense of optimism, since it was noted a 31% increase of women holding senior leadership positions in businesses worldwide.
Whereas, in the field of shipping, explanations for the relatively slow progress on this issue vary. Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry said that the access to education, training and capacity-building as well identifying and eliminating the physical and social barriers that prevent women from participating are pre-requisites for progress.
Diversity in the workplace and gender diversity in leaders, are important for the future maritime and ocean communities. Both men and women are responsible for our future, our oceans, and our children
…Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry concluded.