The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing over 80% of the world merchant fleet, has launched its inaugural Maritime Diversity and Inclusion Charter.
The charter has been created to encourage shipping companies to improve and annually review their diversity and inclusion practices and create opportunities for all, irrespective of their gender, race, ethnic origin, nationality, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.
Karin Orsel (pictured), CEO of MF Shipping Group and chair of the ICS Diversity Panel, commented: “I was one of the only women in the maritime sector when I joined at 23. The industry has made many improvements since then, but it still has a long way to go. We developed the Maritime Diversity and Inclusion Charter as a guiding light to inspire shipping companies to do better for all employees.”
The charter is designed to be a customisable online tool for shipping companies. Users can choose from a number of actions, pledges, and monitoring and reporting metrics that they are prepared to undertake.
For example, companies can commit to appointing a lead on diversity to provide visibility and drive key actions or to track promotion opportunities given to monitored groups defined by age, gender or ethnicity.
ICS plans to release its Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit for Shipping later this year to guide industry’s journey improving policies and practices to meet the needs of the diverse seafarer community.