The Taskforce behind efforts to address the lack of gender diversity in the UK maritime sector launched the Women in Maritime Charter during Maritime UK Week (10-16 September)
The Charter creates a framework to challenge companies to make progress on diversity, and will be supported by a suite of ‘toolkits’ or resources to help companies realise those targets.
Events to formally launch the Charter will be held in London, Liverpool and Southampton across Maritime UK Week, which starts on 10 September.
Companies joining the Women in Maritime Charter will be required to agree an ‘action plan’, setting out individual targets for each participating company. A key commitment will see companies identifying a member of senior management responsible for implementation of the action plan as well as distributing a survey to staff on workplace culture.
Performance against action plans will be self-assessed via online portal and national performance published in a joint industry-government report.
Sue Terpilowski, Chair of the Taskforce, said:
“We’ve been focused on making sure that the Charter we deliver is relevant to companies across the length and breadth of the maritime sector – both in size and function.
“We think we’ve struck the right balance between realism and challenge, with the appropriate plan in place to support companies to excel on gender diversity.”
David Dingle, Chair of Maritime UK, said:
“Without a diverse workforce we will not be able to tackle the challenges we face – including innovating cutting-edge technology, such as that required to decarbonise shipping. A plurality of ideas and creative thinking is absolutely critical to the future success of UK maritime, one of Britain’s biggest industries.
“I’m really encouraged by the response from companies across the country to the Women in Maritime initiative, and heartened by their resolution to work collaboratively to effect real change”
Whilst arguably being behind the curve on gender diversity, the Women in Maritime Taskforce has been able to learn from others sectors, such as financial services, which have delivered similar initiatives. Officials from HM Treasury and Virgin Money, responsible for the Women in Finance Charter, briefed their maritime counterparts on their own experience.
Since Maritime UK’s Women in Maritime Taskforce called for companies to engage in its work, over 60 companies have signed a pledge designed to signal intent on gender diversity. Having consulted those companies on the design of the Charter, the Taskforce is now calling for Charter ‘pilots’ to come forward and agree their action plans.