Denmark launches charter to get more women involved in shipping

Danish Shipping has followed in the UK’s footsteps, presenting a new initiative yesterday aimed at increasing the share of women in Danish shipping companies. Thirteen local shipping companies signed a charter yesterday in Copenhagen that obliges them to actively focus on gender equality.

The current gender split in Danish shipping companies is just under 20,000 men and just over 3,000 women, something Danish Shipping, the local shipowners organisation, described in a release yesterday as an “uneven distribution”.

“We have a major challenge in recruiting labour to the Blue Denmark. Right now, we are simply missing out on half the talent pool unless we can attract more women. We are trying to address this and will make an effort to get more women on board together with the shipping companies,” said Anne Steffensen, Danish Shipping’s CEO.

The new charter obliges the shipping companies among other things to devise a strategy or plan to increase the proportion of women in the company and describe and put forward initiatives to support it.

They must also develop and set targets for the proportion of women in the company and appoint a member of top management to be responsible for the action.

“The shipping companies themselves choose how they will organise the action. They run very different businesses and their starting points are different. Therefore, we will not try to push them to reach one specific goal. But we have a goal as to the number of shipping companies joining the charter. When we enter 2021, 75% of the shipping companies, which represent 75% of the employees, should have signed,” Steffensen said at the charter launch.

A similar women in shipping charter was launched in the UK in September 2018 which has seen more than 120 companies signed up so far.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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