Generally, the all-male panels are sometimes a challenge for women to comprehensive recruitment; Therefore, the Maritime UK Women in Maritime Taskforce created an interview pool to help recruiters provide a gender-balanced environment.

Nicky Goldsbrough, Director of Corporate Services at Shoreham Port and leader in this initiative, added that

The creation of the Women in Maritime Interview Pool offers recruiters experienced and knowledgeable female participation in the recruitment process to open up the field to an even wider range of applicants. The UK is showing how important diversity in the workplace is.

She continues that a common criticism on recruitment is that women feel ignored due to the fact that shipping is a male dominated industry.

In addition, Interview Poll is a solution when a female employee or panel member is unavailable.

Sue Terpilowski, Chair of the Women in Maritime Taskforce noted

After all, how do you know if you are selecting the right person from a panel that has not had a diverse and gender open pool of applicants to choose from?

In the meantime, Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive, The British Ports Association, issued a statement according to which he applauds this initiative, noting

It was invaluable to have an external pair of eyes and view feeding into our advertising and recruitment decisions. It was also a great help in terms of running a process which, because of our organisation’s size, is something we rarely undertake. We would really encourage others to consider utilising the concept.

Concluding, the Taskforce was established in January 2018, and has launched several key initiatives including two new resources. They were created to respond to specific challenges companies have raised in their mission to improve diversity.

The first resource is a ‘Speaker Bank’ comprising women speakers, as a common phenomenon was the too few women speakers at industry conferences and a lack of gender diversity in new recruits. The initiative provides a database of women speakers for panels and conferences. Through its work, the Taskforce heard that many conference organisers claimed that they were unable to identify women to speak on a relevant topic at events.