The launch will be marked in a reception at Belfast Harbour on 8 March, which will also provide an opportunity for Northern Ireland companies to sign up to the Women in Maritime Pledge.

The first resource is a ‘Speaker Bank’ comprising of women speakers. The initiative will provide a database of women speakers for panels and conferences. Through its work, the Taskforce heard that many conference organisers claimed they were unable to identify women to speak on a relevant topic at events. The speaker bank will tag speakers with areas of expertise.

Maritime UK will also be organising a series of public speaking workshops to help support more women to join the speaker bank.

The second resource will be an ‘Interview Pool’, which will loan maritime women to companies that may lack diversity on interview panels. Research by the Taskforce identified that more diverse interview panels or panels with HR professionals with diversity training are more likely to recruit a diverse workforce.

However, several smaller companies in particular highlighted that they do not have access to such recruiters within their staff. The interview pool will provide a facility for these companies to access relevant skills and expertise.

By taking this proactive approach of helping organisers to find speakers through our pool we believe we are solving a problem. We knew there were qualified and experienced women within the industry who would enhance any panel, finding them was the issue. So now, there should be no excuses not to have gender balanced panels,

...noted Sue Terpilowski OBE, Chair of the Taskforce.

I want to see more women enjoy a career at sea or on shore. Recruitment can often be the first point candidates encounter the maritime sector, and it is vital our ambition for greater diversity is reflected at this stage. This is just one example of the fantastic progress being made by the Women in Maritime Taskforce to open up this industry to everyone, no matter their gender or background,

...said Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani.

Maritime UK established its Women in Maritime Taskforce last year to address fairness, equality and inclusion within the maritime sector. The Taskforce brings together leaders from across the maritime sector to identify practical steps to increase the number of women in maritime, and crucially within senior roles across its shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries.