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Women in maritime – the bigger picture

As some of you may have seen on social media this week, I have made the jump from Spinnaker Global Recruitment division to our HR Consulting department. I have worked closely with HR Consulting throughout my time at Spinnaker and have seen first-hand how beneficial they have been to my clients who are members of the Maritime HR Association.

I do like to throw myself in at the deep end, so last Tuesday I attended my first networking event in my new position. Wista UK held the event at Mazars overlooking the fabulous Tower of London. Speakers including our own Sarah Hutley, Heidi Watson (Clyde & Co) and Caitlin Vaught (ISWAN) speaking about the gender pay gap and women in the maritime industry.

Caitlin kicked proceedings off with a presentation about ISWAN’s recent survey on the health and wellbeing of women seafarers. Female seafarers make up only 1-2% of the world’s 1.25m seafarers’ and those are ‘mostly in the cruise sector’. A massive ‘17% of respondents identified sexual harassment as a problem, but nearly 50% of participants in an earlier pilot study said it was an issue’. This is a shocking statistic which needs to be addressed immediately by the maritime industry.

Sarah Hutley and Heidi Watson then took to the stage and discussed the Gender Pay Gap within shore based staff. The statistic that really stood out to me was that over 60% of the admin staff and over 40% of the junior staff members in the maritime industry were women however less than 20% of women progressed in to executive positions. Something in the maritime industry is stopping women from progressing. Of course, this is a problem across all industries but with only a very small percentage of women going to sea and starting a career in the maritime industry it’s hard to see how this is going to change in the long run.

HR Consulting is currently running a Maritime Leadership Development Programme. If you are interested please contact Sarah Hutley on 01702 480 145 or [email protected]

Lucy McQuillan, HR Consultant, Spinnaker Global

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