Maritime UK has established a taskforce to address fairness, equality and inclusion within the maritime sector, including the ferry industry.
The taskforce brings together leaders from across the maritime sector (including ferry operators, such as Stena Line UK and the Port of Dover) to identify practical steps to increase the number of women in maritime, and crucially within senior roles across its shipping, ports, marine and business service industries.
During London International Shipping Week, then Maritime Minister Rt Hon John Hayes MP called for the industry to address the gender imbalance in the sector.
Sue Terpilowski, Chair of the taskforce has stated that;
"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 equalising the role of men and women in the labour market could increase GDP by 10% by 2030."
The taskforce will make a series of recommendations for both industry and the government after initiating a cross-sector survey to create a robust data foundation to monitor progress annually. Further, subgroups are being established to explore the main areas of recruitment, remuneration, progression and retention.
Since the Charter's launch in September 2018, over 60 companies and organisations have already signed the pledge; some notable additions are the UK Chamber of Shipping and the British Ports Association. They are all commiting to take practical steps and set measurable, ambitious goals. The taskforce plans to support their efforts using toolkits comprising best practice, workshops and mentoring.
Performance against the Charter commitments will be monitored throigh a joint industry-government biennial report. Despite being behind the curve on diversity, there is now real momentum to deliver change. Starting from behind has allowed the taskforce to learn from others and see what works, this included meeting with the HM Treasury to learn from their experience in developing the Women in Finance Charter as well as with Royal Mail, a leading diversity proponent.