Blog: The first Global Women in Maritime series was held on Women in Maritime Day

Women in Maritime Day celebrates women in the industry and is intended to promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector, raise the profile of women in maritime, strengthen International Maritime Organisation's commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality) and support work to address the current gender imbalance in maritime. 

The Global Woman in Maritime series is a joint initiative between Diversity in Maritime and Women in Maritime Australia. This series has opened a global dialogue, that facilitates the sharing of best practices, lessons learned, and their unique experiences from being Women in Maritime on either side of the world. 

The first session “What is an Ally?” was inspired by the day’s theme of 'Training-visibility-recognition: supporting a barrier-free working environment'. The webinar discussed how to be an ally, what it means to be one in different countries and cultures and the steps the sector can take to increase allyship for all communities. 

A raft of speakers from both sides of the world looked at strategies for improving diversity including: 

  • Chrissie Clarke, Head of Diversity and Operations, Maritime UK (Moderator) 
  • John Barker, Senior Pilot, Ports of Auckland 
  • Andy Barrow, General Manager, Australian Rail Track Cooperation 
  • Debbie Cavaldoro, Chief Executive, Port Skills and Safety/Co-Chair Diversity in Maritime Taskforce  
  • Jeanine Drummond, MD and Principal Maritime Advisor, Integral Maritime  
  • Kerrie Forster, Chief Executive Officer, The Workboat Association  
  • Deirdra Tindale, Director Corporate and Government Affairs, Pilbara Ports Authority 

One common theme that came from conversations was the concept of workplace training and development incentives where staff would be encouraged to attend an event related to diversity and inclusion and then report back to their peers what they have learned and the steps that can be taken to become an ally. On the ground education and training are needed on diversity and inclusion and must including bullying and harassment, the procedures and training must be continuously updated to reflect this vision. 

Furthermore, the panellists also discussed how everyone can be an ally, and that this should just not be a role for senior leadership. 

The panellists then went on to point out that a key factor in promoting allyship within an organisation is a workplace culture that allows individuals to feel safe to speak up and have conversations in a genuine manner. 

Get involved 

The next Global Women in Maritime series is taking place on 15 June and will explore Wellbeing and Psychological Safety. You can register for the event here

The Women in Maritime Network, part of the Diversity in Maritime programme, holds regular meetings throughout the year, the next is scheduled for Thursday 22 September.  If organisations, women working in the maritime sector and allies wish to get involved they can do so here

For organisations that want to break the bias, they can sign the Women in Maritime Pledge. Signatories to the pledge will be making clear their support for creating positive change within their respective organisations, and collectively, across the UK maritime sector.  If you wish to be recorded as a signatory to the pledge, please sign the pledge

The Diversity in Maritime Programme is sponsored by Stena Line and Port of Aberdeen. 

Watch the recording here.