In-principle support sought for innovative new agenda at rolling launch in Southampton in early July.
A draft charter to drive greater gender balance across UK maritime industries is being drawn up by the Women in Maritime Taskforce, the high-level grouping of industry and government executives put together by Maritime UK.
The charter will play a significant role in improving the gender balance across the maritime industries including shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine.
Taskforce chair, Sue Terpilowski, said:
"The world of work is changing and that is evident in the number of women running global corporations and yet there is still a reluctance to accept that women can handle the jobs many still consider to be ‘male-orientated.’ Well they need to think again: women have been at sea, working in ports and in maritime engineering roles for as long as men. Now would be a good time to open that acceptance door a lot wider. The Women in Maritime Taskforce will deliver on the promise."
The charter will draw on lessons learned from the Women in Finance Charter, led by Virgin Money and HM Treasury, and the non-profit Women in Transport framework.
It will outline a number of ambitious and achievable goals that companies can sign up to, and will be supported with other documentation including a toolkit to help companies achieve those goals.
The charter's aim is to ensure the maritime industry engages better with women already in the industry, and encourages more women to join the industry.
Maritime companies are encouraged to sign up to a ‘principles document’ to show their intended commitment to the programme, to be launched at Seaworks in Southampton from July 3-5.
Maritime UK director, Ben Murray, said:
“When establishing the task force we were clear that we wanted it to deliver. The charter will help deliver real change, and companies across the sector are looking forward to joining as signatories.”
Once companies — starting with the National Council of Maritime UK — sign up to the charter, there will be an annual review of performance against the commitments made when becoming a signatory.
Maritime UK and the Department for Transport are developing plans to put in place the resource to provide that audit of performance.
Signatories to the charter may also be invited to make a donation to support the work of the Women in Maritime initiative, including the creation of comprehensive tool kits to help support companies meet the commitments within the charter.
Other plans include an annual award programme to recognise those companies that have delivered greatest improvement in gender balance and support.