2021 International Women’s Day

Improving gender diversity in the maritime industry

It is well known that women are under-represented in the maritime industry.  Today, on International Women’s Day (IWD), Maritime Industry Australia Ltd (MIAL) continues its commitment to improve gender diversity in the sector and endorses the IWD 2021 campaign theme: #ChooseToChallenge.

Last year, MIAL launched a report titled Diversity – Women in Maritime, which identified many areas where there is tremendous alignment between companies and employees in recognising the importance of gender diversity and equality in the workplace, as well as in organisational strategy.  However, areas were also identified where there is a disconnect between what companies say they are doing and what employees experience.

Valuable insights were gained from a breadth of sectors ranging from oil and gas operators, port/harbour services, shipowners, education providers, government departments and professional service providers.

Key findings from the report were:

  • A majority of organisations have a policy on gender equality
  • Both smaller organisations and larger organisations have higher female representation in their workforce compared to other organisational sizes;
  • The defence industry is strong in its employment of females in younger age brackets in both seagoing and shore-based roles, which increases the gender diversity input across the breadth of the maritime industry;
  • Outside of the defence industry, the representation of females within seagoing roles in particular is very low;
  • Organisations largely don’t incorporate gender diversity strategies in recruitment processes;
  • The biggest barriers to entry identified by both employees and organisations is work/life balance and unconscious bias; and
  • The number of females in leadership roles within organisations is low overall, particularly in higher level leadership roles.

Teresa Lloyd, MIAL CEO says:
“Creating an environment that fosters inclusion and accelerates diversity in our industry is critical.  No one thinks that addressing the imbalance in maritime workforce gender participation is easy.  MIAL and our members all have a role in enabling the success of women and with the baselines provided by this report, we can work with industry to work on the next steps and measure progress.”

#IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge

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