The role of education in attracting more women at sea

October 27, 2021 Maritime Safety News

Education from a young age is the starting point for maritime industry to deal with gender stereotypes, which have traditionally left women off shipping careers, and to attract diverse talent that will bring high-intelligence and problem-solving skills in the sector, panelists during the SAFETY4SEA Crew Welfare Week agreed.

While the industry continues its efforts to change the perception and prejudice that suggests that shipping is too technical for women, we continue to observe a major gender gap onboard with the recruitment of women at sea remaining a grey area. This triggers the vital need for the industry to think what changes are required for the industry to become more inclusive and diverse, the SAFETY4SEA Panel heard.

Key numbers

  • Only 2% of women sail onboard ships. Of them, less than 1% of women work onboard cargo ships.
  • Onshore, women constitute 40% of shipping employees. Of them, only 1% are on top management positions.

A huge problem is marketing, because there is not enough publicity on the sector as a potential professional path, noted Capt. Alexandra Hagerty, US Naval Ships, pointing out the huge opportunities of getting children at a young age to know the benefits of the industry.