Well, it's gone incredibly quickly, but we have had a great couple of days at the Spinnaker #maritimehr Forum in London. The 90 or so delegates (members of the Maritime HR Forum, speakers and facilitators) have engaged in healthy debate, attended a variety of breakout sessions, and networked with fellow members of the shipping HR community.
We kicked off the day with an essential session from Mark Dickinson, Nautilus International, on bullying and harassment in the shipping workplace, aboard ships. Mark highlighted the importance of getting the issue of bullying and harassment to the top of the shipping industry's agenda.
We watched a great film on the subject, which you can view by clicking here, and it highlighted how easy it can be to avoid reporting harassment but how important it is to raise these grievances. If bad habits – harassment, or discrimination based on gender, religion, race or sexuality for example – occur with some staff on ships, what happens when those staff come ashore?
Spinnaker's Teresa Peacock (also Membership Secretary of WISTA) led a breakout session on women in shipping; the debate was fascinating. Did you know that women are 52 times less likely to pursue a maritime career than men? If females don't start in shipping at the bottom (in terms of career entry, on ships and so on) then how will they ever get to the top?
It has been proven that mixed boards provide better results than single-sex boards; you have a broader perspective, and you also have access to a wider talent pool by employing both women and men.
The conference continued with topics on cross-cultural HR, and the 'politics of pay', before going on to have an in-depth overview of the Maritime HR Forum for members. We then looked at what makes a good leader; clarity, consistency, communication, robustness, direction and focus. You can't argue with that! Finding good leaders is about finding out what makes people tick.
Overall, it's been a fantastic two days. We have had delegates from Greece, India, Italy, Dubai, Monaco, Singapore, Canada, the US, Oman, Denmark, and many more. Enormous thanks to everyone who came, spoke, supported, tweeted, networked, and gave us insights into hot maritime HR topics from their various companies.