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U.K. Women in Maritime Taskforce Established

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By MarEx 2018-01-20 16:57:48

Industry body Maritime UK has established a taskforce to address fairness, equality and inclusion within the maritime sector. The Women in Maritime Taskforce brings together leaders from across the maritime sector to identify practical steps to increase the number of women in maritime, and crucially within senior roles across its shipping, ports, marine and business services industries.

The taskforce will make a series of recommendations and use best practice from other sectors that have taken similar action.

Sue Terpilowski, Chair of the Taskforce, said: “The need for fairness, equality and inclusion is clearer than ever and the maritime sector must embrace diversity because it’s the right thing to do. Equally there is a strong business case for action. The OECD has estimated that equalizing the role of men and women in the labor market could increase GDP by 10 percent by 2030.”

David Dingle, Chair of Maritime UK, said the sector needs to do much more to address gender imbalance. “Just looking at the Merchant Navy, the ITF estimates that women make up only two percent of the world’s maritime workforce, and those figures are replicated here in the U.K. too.

“Of the 14,350 officers in our country, only three percent are women. Only four percent of our technical officers are women. Of the 6,500 engine officers, only one percent are women. It means that talented women could be missing out on careers in which they could best use those talents.”

The U.K.'s new Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani, has also welcomed the establishment of the taskforce. Ghani, only the second woman to hold the Department for Transport portfolio for the U.K.’s £40 billion maritime sector, said: “In the autumn, the Government challenged maritime leaders, businesses and colleges to find ways of increasing the number of women in the sector, and it is great to see them respond in this way.”

During London International Shipping Week, her predecessor, John Hayes called for industry to address gender imbalance in the sector. Government is represented on the new taskforce.