Today Shoreham Port has been working closely with other businesses in the maritime sector to support International Women’s Day. Shoreham Port is a member of the Women in Maritime Taskforce and is very proactive in their aim to increase gender diversity, not only in the Port but also in the wider maritime sector.
The Port has invited female staff across all departments to share images of themselves with the hashtags #internationalwomensday and #womeninmaritime to celebrate this year's International Women's Day theme of Balance for Better.
Today, the Women in Maritime Taskforce has visited Belfast Harbour, to encourage other businesses to sign the Women in Maritime Pledge and to launch two brand new practical tools, which will help businesses fulfil their promise to create employment cultures that support, encourage and celebrate gender diversity, at all levels.
The two new resources have been created to respond to specific challenges companies have raised in their mission to improve diversity. Namely, too few female speakers at industry conferences and a lack of gender diversity on interview panels and subsequently in the new recruits that follow.
The first resource is a ‘Speaker Bank’ comprising female speakers. The initiative will provide a database of female speakers for panels and conferences. The organisers of London International Shipping Week have committed to promoting the Speaker Bank to those organising events during the week. Sue Terpilowski OBE, Chair of the Taskforce, said “By taking this proactive approach of helping organisers to find speakers through our pool we believe we are solving a problem. We knew there were qualified and experienced women within the industry who would enhance any panel, finding them was the issue. So now, there should be no excuses not to have gender-balanced panels. This will not only enable the audience to gain a good broad insight into the issues being discussed but clearly also shows that women are making an impact within the industry and are good role models to everyone.”
The second resource will be an ‘Interview Pool’, which will loan maritime women to companies that may lack diversity on interview panels. Research by the Taskforce identified that more diverse interview panels or panels with HR professionals with diversity training are more likely to recruit a diverse workforce. Nicky Goldsbrough, Director of Corporate Services at Shoreham Port, who has led work on the Interview Pool, said “Collaboration has been key to the success of the Taskforce so far and the Interview Pool builds on this through broadening the networks of women in maritime, sharing skills and enabling gender balanced interview pools to be created, all of which is pivotal for attracting more women into the sector.”
Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani, said “I want to see more women enjoy a career at sea or on shore. Recruitment can often be the first point candidates encounter the maritime sector, and it is vital our ambition for greater diversity is reflected at this stage. This is just one example of the fantastic progress being made by the Women in Maritime Taskforce to open up this industry to everyone, no matter their gender or background.”
Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK said “I am delighted that the Taskforce is producing such tangible results. Diversity is incredibly important to our sector. Today we miss out on huge talent and diversity of thought, which are essential to the future success of our £40bn sector. The resources launched today will help in our mission to change our maritime sector for the better.”