Hong Kong’s Wallem Group has responded to a sex discrimination row that erupted Thursday morning in the UK’s Daily Mail, the world’s most read newspaper.
Sophia Walker, 24, a qualified British deck officer, hit out at the shipmanager yesterday after she was refused a job interview because she “would be better off working on a cruise ship”.
Having served her cadetship on a variety of vessels at Fleetwood Nautical Campus she sought out Wallem for a deck hand job but was told she could not work for the famous shipmanager “because of her gender”. She was advised to apply instead for a career in the cruise sector.
Wallem got in touch with Splash to give the company’s contrite side of the story.
Wallem replied to Walker within a day of her formal complaint with an unreserved apology and an invitation for further dialogue, which was rejected. Walker said she preferred to discuss the matter in writing.
The Hong Kong company issued the following statement to Splash: “Wallem Group is an equal opportunities employer. The views expressed in the message sent to Fleetwood Nautical College, that Miss Walker objected to, were made in poor judgment by a single individual and do not in any way reflect the views held by Wallem or the values and culture of the group. A full investigation has been carried out by the group and disciplinary action taken in accordance with our group policies and procedures.”
Wallem stressed that “gender is not a factor” when it comes to recruitment.
Moreover, Wallem’s policy for recruitment at sea states that the company will treat all seafarers fairly and respectfully without bias based on a seafarer’s colour, creed, gender, race or religion either in the employment of or in advancement of a seafarer’s career.
“Wallem Group regrets this unfortunate matter,” the company concluded.