The shipping industry needs more women

The shipping industry needs more women

Gender diversity is an important topic nowadays, more and more companies are giving attention to different strategies on how to implement diversity and make “male” working fields attractive for women.  But we still see a big lack of women in the maritime sector.

One of the obvious main reasons is the male-dominated industry and the outdated image. The industry needs a remodeling of its image to make it more appealing and give it a boost. It needs to be seen as young, divers, challenging and innovating. We do see some innovating initiatives and exhibitions being organized locally, but it’s still not reaching their target audience.

Another reason of not having enough women in the maritime industry is the lack of encouragement for women taking on science, engineering or technology studies and eventually taking maritime careers. Schools play a key role in the students career choices, but still little information is being spread about career options by the maritime industry. Here lies a big opportunity for promoting and improving the industry.

When promoting the maritime business, why not highlight the women who are currently active in the industry and let them be role models to the young students of today. Give them the recognition they deserve and let gender diversity move the industry forward.

IMO, the International Maritime Organization, is a big supporter of empowering women in the global maritime community. It has launched several initiatives like the ‘Maritime Women: Global Leadership’ international conference, two video’s: “Making Waves: women leaders in the maritime world”and  Women at the helm, etc.
They introduced the Programme on the Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector (IWMS) which has a primary objective to encourage IMO Member States to open the doors of their maritime institutes to enable women to train alongside men and so acquire the high-level of competence that the maritime industry demands.

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