18 May 2022 marks the first International Day for Women in Maritime.
The establishment of this annual event highlights the participation of women in maritime as a key priority for the global maritime sector. It ensures we make progress each year to support female participation in the maritime industry.
With only 1.5% of the global seafaring workforce being female, there is significant opportunity to capture the benefits of a more balanced workforce.
Encouraging more women into the sector means a wider range of perspectives and solutions. Not only does this mean more opportunity for innovation and efficiency; solutions are also likely to be more inclusive of women overall.
This is particularly important in the face of the looming skills shortage. Increasing the participation of women will provide a greater reservoir of people and skills to draw on.
But this starts with creating safe and inviting workplaces for women in maritime.
To support meaningful participation of women we need to tackle the barriers for women to enter the maritime industry.
Some of the challenges we face include overcoming cultural barriers, conscious and unconscious gender bias, gender stereotyping, inflexible working arrangements, and unsuitable facilities.
Within the small portion of females in the maritime sector, we have some great female role models. We also need to identify and celebrate these women and create opportunities for others.
Much is being done globally and in Australia to achieve this. The International Maritime Organization—which established the International Day for Women in Maritime—has launched multiple initiatives, including scholarships and mentor programs as a part of its gender equity strategy.
Learn more about AMSA’s initiatives to beat inequality.