Shipping’s lack of diversity among its workforce is holding it back, the UK’s minister for maritime Nusrat Ghani warned yesterday.
Giving the keynote address at the 13th annual Maritime HR conference in London organised by Spinnaker Global, Ghani told the 200 delegates attending that it is critical to change the lack of diversity in maritime, something that would make the sector far healthier.
Ghani highlighted statistics showing that 96% of the workforce are male. Ghani used her keynote to reiterate calls for people to sign up to the Women in Maritime charter, something launched by lobby group Maritime UK last year that has seen more than 100 companies sign up to the movement that celebrates gender diversity in the workplace.
Ghani also discussed how shipping has a responsibility to look at seafarer mental health.
Among other topics covered in the speech, the maritime minister stated that the shortfall of UK cadets is an issue currently being looked at by her department. Ghani also said STEM subjects for those aspiring to a career in shipping will be more and more critical as technology advances. Future UK seafarers will need transferable IT skills to keep up with technology, Ghani said.
The Maritime HR conference continues today.