04 NOV 2020

Women make up just 7.5 percent of the world’s seafarers, according to a first-of-its-kind report looking into diversity within the shipping industry.

The report was released this week by the International Chamber of Shipping. It surveyed more than 200 shipping companies across the world on issues related to diversity in the global shipping labor force.

The report revealed that while 30 percent of companies employ women on their board and close to 60 percent of companies have female officers, just 7.5 percent of total seafarers were female. Three-quarters of the companies surveyed offered some sort of maternity leave policy.

The report also provides a list of recommendations for immediate improvement, including setting a baseline and targets for improved corporate diversity and inclusion policies in the coming years.

The report suggests an employment target of 12 percent in the next three years and to 25 percent in 20 years, compared to 7.5. percent today.

“We find a diversified workforce, both on board our ships and at the office one of our strongest assets. Diversity, Equality and Inclusiveness are key in providing a sustainable future for the global maritime industry and our company,” said Karin Orsel, Vice Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping and CEO of MF Shipping Group. “We therefore applaud ICS with this diversity report, which is a first for the maritime industry and which showcases the leadership of the ICS on important issues. We do hope this report contributes to the needed change on Diversity and Inclusiveness policies within our industry and have been honoured to be part of the project.”

Research also revealed that the average ship has a mix of at least three nationalities on board, and sometimes as many as thirty. Three languages were the minimum spoken on the average ship. However, only half of the surveyed companies said that they are currently promoting and encouraging diversity and inclusion activities amongst crews or during hiring.


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