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ECSA: Gender diversity and equality of opportunity crucial to attract and retain new talent in the shipping industry

Gender equality is at the heart of the EU’s fundamental values for sustainable and inclusive growth. ECSA has a strong track record in working together with its social partner, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) to enhance the participation of women in European shipping.  ECSA and its member associations are working actively to promote gender diversity and equality of opportunity to attract and retain new talent for strong, prosperous and socially sustainable shipping and maritime clusters in Europe.

ECSA and its members share the view that a more gender-balanced industry would improve workplace culture, sustainability and productivity.

The importance of this topic to the industry was highlighted in several events during the recent European Shipping Week 2020. On 18 February ECSA organised an event entitled “An EU Maritime Growth Plan for Sustainable Jobs, Growth and Competitiveness” and  together with the ETF, an event on “Enhancing the participation of Women in Shipping“. The topic was also discussed at the Flagship conference held on 20 February. The event also showcased examples of existing good practice: the Fair Winds Project in Sweden, the Recommendations for Industry by the ‘Taskforce for Women’ of Danish Shipping, the mentoring programmes by Women Offshore foundation and the successful approach of Celebrity Cruises including the  “All female officer cruise on Celebrity Edge“. It was clear that the industry takes its role seriously in making itself more balanced and inclusive.

Martin Dorsman, Secretary General of ECSA said:

“During European Shipping Week 2020, we heard that more and more European shipping companies face strong competition to recruit the right people both on board and on shore. European shipping needs to maintain and enhance its skills base and ensure that it is an attractive, smart, safe, social and sustainable quality shipping sector within a world class maritime cluster.

“For this reason, ECSA proposed a jobs strategy for Europe entitled ‘Maritime Growth Plan for Europe‘ for more sustainable maritime jobs, growth and competitiveness which also focuses on the need to attract a broader and more diverse talent pool. The European Shipping Week events gave a clear message that the industry must continue to attract, support and grow its female talent pool. A more gender balanced shipping industry is also good for the profession and for the industry. We cannot afford to ignore 50% of available capable talent.”

“On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2020, we are happy to announce that as of this month,  ECSA and the ETF will be working together on a new project called WESS, co-funded by the EU, which will help us to implement our joint declaration of intention on enhanced participation of women in the European shipping industry. This will include both an awareness-raising campaign to increase the awareness of the attractive career opportunities in shipping both at sea and ashore, and a research initiative to consider good practice measures and policies to recruit and retain women in the industry,” said Tim Springett, ECSA Spokesperson to the Social Dialogue Committee for Maritime Transport.

Click here for more information on the WESS Project.