News: Maritime UK launches Diversity in Maritime BAME Network

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Maritime UK, the umbrella body for the £46bn maritime sector, is today launching a BAME in Maritime Network (*) as part of the Diversity in Maritime programme.

The network has been established as a safe-space community where BAME individuals from across the maritime sector can come together to share best practice and discuss barriers to change.

The launch of a BAME Network is in direct response to the Government’s Maritime 2050 strategy, which states that the “maritime workforce of the future will be diverse. New roles, new technologies and a changing image of the sector will draw in people from all backgrounds across the entire UK.” This is in addition to the establishment of the Maritime Skills Commission, which is commissioning research to gather diversity data for the sector, including BAME representation.

Taken together, they will ensure the sector has a continuous pipeline of highly skilled, diverse people across its shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries. The UK government has provided £730,000 to boost diversity, wellbeing and skills in maritime.

The network’s inaugural meeting will be held virtually on Thursday 30 July from 10:00 – 12:00. It will hear from Louisa Joseph, Founder and CEO, BAME to Boardroom at the inaugural meeting who will discuss developing BAME talent into leadership roles and progressing the BAME agenda. Zaheer Ahmad MBE, Head of Strategy Diversity and Inclusiveness, EY will also be discussing EY’s focus on Race and Gender and their commitment to a target of 20% BAME Partners by 2025.

(*) the future name of the network will be discussed at the inaugural network meeting.

Debbie Cavaldoro and Sue Terpilowski, Co-Chairs of the Diversity in Maritime Taskforce said:

“Following on from the successful launches of the Diversity in Maritime Mental Health and Pride networks we are delighted to see the activation of the BAME* network. To ensure the UK maritime sector has a diverse pipeline of talented people, we must level the playing field for all and reflect the diversity we have across the country.

Now is the time that the maritime sector comes together to ensure every voice is heard.”

Kelly Tolhurst, Maritime Minister said:

“We will continue to build a more diverse and inclusive maritime sector so that everyone can benefit from the incredible opportunities it presents.

Last year, this Government set out our Maritime 2050 Strategy for the sector, boosting our commitment to diversifying talent. It kick-started an important discussion about tackling barriers and I’m glad to see this initiative take-off today as part of that vision.”

Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK said:

“The UK maritime sector is a very exciting place to be right now, offering a great range of careers and wonderful opportunities. These must be accessible to everyone. As part of the Diversity in Maritime programme we have accelerated the establishment of this network to ensure that everybody clearly understands the barriers to meaningful change faced by people from a BAME background. We will break down these barriers and we will ensure that our industry has the most diverse and talented workforce that it can possibly have.”