Diversity in maritime programme launches in the UK

Lobby group Maritime UK has launched a new Diversity in Maritime programme. Two new networks with task forces have been created for LGBT+ and mental health.

“A lack of gender diversity in maritime is well-documented, but a lack of LGBT+ representation is an issue that is rarely, if ever, discussed,” a spokesperson for the organisation told Splash.

The two new task forces will build upon the structure of Women in Maritime established in 2018.

The UK government’s Maritime 2050 strategy states: “The maritime workforce of the future will be diverse. New roles, new technologies and a changing image of the sector will draw in people from all backgrounds across the entire UK.”

The UK government has provided £730,000 to boost diversity, wellbeing and skills in maritime.

Maritime UK published yesterday a new resource entitled HR Guidance for Recruiters as part of the programme. Employers in the maritime sector will benefit from new, bespoke guidance, written following the analysis of hundreds of job adverts collated from across the sector. The resource highlights ways in which basic assumptions and unconscious biases affect the ways in which jobs are advertised, as well as the easy steps that can be taken to create a more conscious recruitment process. It makes a series of recommendations, with examples, including balancing feminine and masculine words in job descriptions and including statements about what the employer is offering, beyond salary.

Ben Murray, director of Maritime UK, commented: “Without a diverse workforce we will not be able to tackle the challenges we face – including recovering from coronavirus or coming up with the solutions to fundamental missions like tackling climate change. A plurality of ideas and creative thinking is critical to the future success of UK maritime, one of Britain’s biggest industries.”

Maritime minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “By launching these new diversity networks, we are helping unlock the true potential of our workforce. With many more initiatives to come, I’m confident the industry will continue to develop a positive inclusive working culture as the Women in Maritime programme goes from strength to strength.”

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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