AS PART of this year’s World Maritime Day celebrations, the International Chamber of Shipping joined International Maritime Organization secretary-general Kitack Lim in London. The occasion included the airing of a video on this year’s theme of “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community”.

The video was created as a “reminder of the important role that women play in shipping today”, according to the ICS. And, “more importantly to encourage more women to enter the industry and join the ranks of professional seafarers who play such an important part in the world economy”.

The event was attended by senior representatives from all sectors of the shipping community, including ship owners, ship managers, NGOs, legal and finance specialists and educators.

In advance of the evening, Mr Lim said, “To ensure its own sustainability, shipping needs diversity in the workforce. Diversity is better; it’s better for teamwork, better for leadership – and better for commercial performance.

“This video from ICS reinforces the fact that the industry is fully embracing this idea. I am sure it will help spread the word about how important it is to support and promote women in the maritime community.”

The secretary-general of ICS, Guy Platten, said, “Our industry needs to attract the very best talent and we must use all means to encourage a more diverse workforce.

“I am delighted that ICS has been invited to showcase our animation at IMO’s World Maritime Day Celebration.”

The video can be viewed here:

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Closer to home, Maritime Industry Australia CEO, Teresa Lloyd, issued a statement saying the organisation celebrates the role of women in the maritime community.

“Australia’s maritime activity is as diverse and challenging as anywhere in the world. Our island nation is reliant upon having professional maritime expertise available and to do that we need to ensure that we are drawing from the largest pool to select the best people to employ in the industry,” she said.

On Tuesday night, more than 60 maritime executives attended a World Maritime Day dinner in Perth, sponsored by Woodside.  Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm from the Royal Australian Navy and Alannah MacTiernan spoke to the audience about the vital role of women in the maritime workforce.

According to the MIAL Census of the large-ship skillset, women represent less than 5% of that workforce. This is on par with international figures. Anecdotally, it is believed far more women participate in the maritime sector within the domestic commercial vessel fleet. The Royal Australian Navy has women represented at nearly 22% of the workforce.

Women in the maritime workforce will be discussed further at the MIAL Modern Maritime Conference being held in Sydney October 9 and 10.

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