The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) has launched the next stage of its #WomenInSAR initiative, supported by a generous grant from Trinity House, a maritime charity and one of the UK’s statutory general lighthouse authorities.
The IMRF launched its #WomenInSAR initiative at its World Maritime Rescue Congress (WMRC) in June 2019. The project aims to increase the representation of women in the maritime sector and specifically to raise the profile of women working in maritime Search and Rescue (SAR).
The initiative supports the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Empowering Women in Maritime initiative which seeks to address the sector’s huge gender gap and significant under representation of women in all roles and all sectors, including maritime SAR.
Since the launch of #WomenInSAR, the IMRF has introduced the IMRF #WomenInSAR Award, one of the annual IMRF Awards and organised the very first all-women maritime SAR training in Morocco in conjunction with the IMO.
The Trinity House funding will allow the IMRF to develop the initiative significantly further, delivering valuable information and taking the initial steps to address the gender gap.
The first step is to establish the current situation and to do this, the IMRF has launched the #WomenInSAR Survey, asking all its members and anyone working in maritime SAR to answer some questions about their role and working situation. The survey will be open and promoted through the winter and the resulting report will be published in Spring 2021.
The second element of the initiative will focus on inspiring the next generation of women to consider a career in maritime SAR through an online #WomenInSAR STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) event, and a dedicated web page and resources highlighting the breadth of potential opportunities available. The IMRF’s members who are part of the #WomeninSAR network will be instrumental in this project – acting as case studies, sharing their perspectives and experiences.
Further work streams include the development of formal guidance and recommendations on best practices for increasing the representation of women in SAR in both volunteer and paid capacities, a #WomenInSAR Mentorship Scheme and #WomenInSAR Operation Days which will take place in the summer of 2021.
Theresa Crossley, CEO, IMRF said: “We are hugely grateful to Trinity House for their support, our #WomenInSAR initiative has been widely welcomed by the maritime SAR sector. More and more women are building exciting careers in this area, changing perceptions and demonstrating how important a real gender balance is, but there are still challenges and too many limitations that need to be addressed. This funding will help us drive this important initiative forward and lead meaningful change.”
Captain Ian McNaught, Deputy Master of Trinity House added: “Trinity House is a charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers and we have been providing education, support and welfare to the seafaring community for more than 500 years. Men and women working in maritime search and rescue save the lives of those in trouble at sea, providing a vital service, in today’s world, it is only right that women should be equally represented across all roles and we are proud to support this initiative.”
If you have any questions and/or would like further information about the #WomenInSAR initiative, please contact Caroline Jupe: [email protected]
To complete the #WomeninSAR survey, just click here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WomenInSAR