International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and Anglo-Eastern Ship Management in cooperation with WISTA International have published a new booklet on building and maintaining gender diversity onboard merchant ships. The booklet addresses critical social, cultural and interpersonal issues that can obstruct productivity of a shipboard team.
More than a manual, the booklet aims to sensitise junior and senior officers to the challenges women seafarers may face. From sexual harassment and bullying to negative attitudes faced by male colleagues, the booklet addresses a wide range of challenges reported by women seafarers.
“Shipping is a global industry that strengthens each year thanks to increasing gender diversity. This booklet represents an important collaboration between the corporate, welfare, and non-profit sides of shipping to create a global industry that is inclusive, diverse, and strong,” said Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, president of WISTA International.
“Women form 39.3% of the workforce globally. However, women seafarers constitute only 2% of the total number of seafarers sailing on the high seas. There is a need to bridge this gender gap, and this can only happen if we bring more awareness of this profession to the general public and at the same time sensitize the male seafarers towards acceptance of women on board the ship as equals, giving due respect to their viewpoints and working well together as colleagues,” said Captain K. N. Deboo, Anglo-Eastern Maritime Training Centre director and principal.