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The science is in — organisations that access talent across a diverse workforce perform better than those that don’t1.

When it comes to gender, not having access to half the population when competing for talent means you are starting from the back of the pack. As Jennifer Flock from the international executive search firm, Heidrick & Struggles, put it at the 2021 Global Maritime Forum: “Companies not demonstrating action on diversity, equity, and inclusion, risk becoming talent hunting grounds for those who have been intentionally strategic on creating these conditions.”

The plan that you are about to read is the culmination of the efforts of your colleagues across AMSA, who started a working group in response to the results of a comprehensive survey conducted in 2021. I would like to thank them for the considerable amount of time, effort and thought that went into this version — I say version, because we very much intend to keep this plan alive by tracking our progress while continuing to look ahead to see what else we should be doing.

As a maritime safety authority, our gender equity challenge is amplified by a traditional reliance on seafaring skills, with women only making up around 1.5% of seafarers globally. Against this backdrop comes the opportunity for us to show real leadership for the maritime industry.

Achieving gender equity at AMSA will take time and effort, but the results will be worth it.

Of course we will continue to contribute to the bigger picture, by sponsoring scholarships for those entering the industry, by seeking out opportunities to work with government and industry to bring more women into seafaring, and by raising awareness of gender and diversity issues.

But this Gender Equity Action Plan is for us.

We all have a part to play to bring this plan to life, to help us become the organisation we want to become under Strategy 2030. This will not always be comfortable, however recognising behaviour that needs to change in ourselves, and taking steps to bring about that change will make a difference.

As AMSA’s leader, I’m taking this on board, and I look forward to you doing the same.

Mick Kinley
Chief Executive
May 2022

Footnotes

1 Australian Government, Workplace Gender Equality Agency, More women at the top proves better for business, 19 June 2020

2 Global Maritime Forum, We need to do more to improve on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the global maritime industry, 16 March 2022