The European social partners for Maritime Transport, the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), advocate the enhanced participation of women in European shipping.
On International Women’s Day, the partners are launching a survey that will help them determine the current state of women’s employment in the sector and assess women seafarers’ needs, a first step of an EU-funded project to increase women’s participation in the shipping industry.
The UN Women theme this year is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” The pandemic has established that women are on the front line of ensuring the undisturbed flow of global trade and playing crucial roles in shaping an equal future of recovery and prosperity.
ECSA and ETF issued a joint declaration of intention to promote participation of women in European Shipping in November 2018. Both have joined the European Commission’s “Women in Transport – EU platform for change” initiative to strengthen women’s employment in the transport sector.
Social partners have turned their commitments to action with a joint EU co-funded WESS project that aims to contribute to an Attractive, Smart and Sustainable Working Environment in the EU shipping sector and will support the work towards job creation, growth and the sector’s competitiveness by attracting and retaining more women both ashore and at sea.
We see more shipping companies understanding that diversity is a tool for increased competitiveness. Shipping is by tradition a male industry and it´s time to change that. The contribution that more women can bring to the shipping labour force, both at sea and ashore, is plentiful. Active engagement by both men and women and getting the message out through ambassadors and champions, is the strongest method of promoting the industry to other women.
states Claes Berglund, ECSA President and Director of Public Affairs and Sustainability at Stena.
Mr Berglund added that there are currently many initiatives under way to enhance the participation of women in the shipping industry.
In addition, the International Women’s Day provides a global opportunity to recognise the work of women in the economy and lives.
As a global industry, shipping is crucial in ensuring the respect of the rights of women – it is our duty to demonstrate the vital roles of women and the urgent need to create working environments where they can thrive
added Debbie Cavaldoro, head of policy and strategy at Nautilus International and ETF lead on the project WESS project.
Ms. Cavaldoro concluded that it has been proven time and again that a diverse workplace is beneficial for all and this is as important for a team onboard a vessel as it is for any other office-based team.