Women in Shipping #IWD2024 – Day 1

With this year’s campaign theme for International Women’s Day being Inspire Inclusion, we wanted to hear from individuals and HR professionals regarding their thoughts and insights surrounding inclusion within the maritime industry.

Val Cannon
CEO/Founder, SeaSavvy Coaching & Consulting (Certified Hello7 Business Coach)

Is the maritime industry doing enough to ensure the recruitment, retainment and development of female talent?

No. The maritime industry has made improvements over the past 20 years, but the numbers don’t lie. According to the 2021 report from BIMCO & ICS, women only represent about 1.2% of seafarers. To date, I have not been able to find any statistics for how many women overall work in the industry. That alone shows a lack of actionable concern.

Do you think there are enough practices in place within the maritime industry to support women throughout their career and into leadership roles?

These are limited. Often, as women move up in the industry, they continue the same limiting practices that men do. The practice of keeping other women small is widespread. There needs to be a lot more professional development, not just for women, but for all future and current leaders to shift these practices to more inclusive ones.

Do you think the maritime industry needs more infrastructure to support women’s needs?

Although it is true that women still bear the brunt of childcare, this is actually a whole family issue. This also does not take into consideration childcare leave for same-sex couples. Yes, more childcare and paternity/maternity leave needs to be provided. Conversations around menopause support certainly also need to be addressed.

When was a time when you felt included within your workplace?

There have been multiple occasions I was mentored and helped along through highly political systems. They do exist but can be difficult to find.

Gina Panayiotou
ESG Manager, West P&I

Is the maritime industry doing enough to ensure the recruitment, retainment and development of female talent?

We still lack basics such as recruitment policies which facilitate diversity, or taking minor steps such as asking recruiters to provide a 50-50 talent pool of male-female especially in respect to senior and C-Suite roles and making it the norm for men to also take parental leave. DE&I policies are also still very weak and many times board members and managers have not been trained to be able to appreciate how to support female talent. This is a holistic change management process which requires great competency, primarily from HR and Board familiarisation on what more can be done.

Do you think there are enough practices in place within the maritime industry to support women throughout their career and into leadership roles?

We are seeing some great initiatives, such as the IMO focusing on diversity, ESG reporting standards and associations such as WISTA which are successfully highlighting the need to create a better industry for women. However, the greatest change can only be driven by internal policies and cultures which are genuinely invested in supporting the females within their organization, seeking out talent and being able to provide them with a platform to shine.

Do you think the maritime industry needs more infrastructure to support women’s needs?

Yes, it needs to truly understand diversity and have the willingness and intent to be more flexible and provide pathways for women to be able to grow, develop and work around their needs. End of the day what should matter is that the works get done, not whether you sit in an office for fixed hours etc. People will deliver much better if they feel comfortable to be themselves and feel understood, whether they are menopausal, just had a child etc. and we need to make sure they feel comfortable to share their needs and that those needs are then translated into effective infrastructure.

When was a time when you felt included within your workplace?

The last time I felt included, was when I was appreciated for who I am and what I bring to the table – no requirement placed to “fit in with the rest.” Often organizations seek out talent (female or other) and have the expectation that coming into the company this person needs to adapt to the company’s “culture” – that’s no longer how it works, inclusive is the only culture you should be aiming for!

Flexible Working – UK changes in 2024

Flexible Working – UK changes in 2024

From 6 April 2024, employees in the UK will be able to request flexible working from their first day in a new job.

Following the request, employers must deal with it in a ‘reasonable manner’ which is deemed to include assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application, holding a meeting to discuss the request with the employee, and offering an appeal process if the request is declined.

If an employer does not handle a request reasonably, the employee can take them to an employment tribunal!

This new legislation can be a minefield for employers. Whilst flexible working can boost retention rates and reduce absence rates by improving an employee’s work-life balance there is lots to consider when implementing a flexible working policy.

1. What type of flexible working?

Flexible working not only includes working from home as well as in the office (hybrid working) but also includes flexible hours and a work-from-anywhere approach (agile working). Some people are more productive in the evening or early morning, but you must consider if this works for your business.

2. Access to global talent

Flexible working allows access to a bigger work pool, not only across the UK, but the skills and talent of employees overseas can now be accessed more easily.

Employers do need to be mindful of local legislation when employing people based oversees as they may be different statutory requirements when it comes to annual leave, pensions etc

3. Cost savings

Flexible working can massively reduce an employer’s overheads, and also any contributions they were making to travel allowances.

Employers need to consider If they will make any contribution towards an employee’s WiFi/office equipment if they are working from home.

4. Wellbeing

Although flexible/home working is often considered to be beneficial for an employee’s wellbeing, the boundaries of office and home space can become blurred with it becoming harder and harder to switch off.

5. Company Culture

Remote working can hinder spontaneous interactions and effective communication between teams. It can contribute to misunderstandings between teams and individuals and have a negative impact on a company’s culture. Managers must ensure they consider regular in-person get-togethers and social events to facilitate the ‘water cooler’ moment.

6. Managing a team

It can be extremely challenging to manage a team ‘from a distance’ and conversely, employees might feel demotivated by not feeling part of a team or having that close relationship with their manager. Teams must make sure they schedule regular formal one-to-one’s and informal check-ins to ensure well-being and performance. Never has the importance of a clear job description and targets been more important.

It’s clear that there is a lot to consider before an organisation can fully embrace flexible working, and you can read the full article regarding the upcoming changes on the government website. The topic will also be discussed at this year’s Maritime People & Culture conference in the context of its effect on a company’s culture.

Spinnaker launch salary benchmarking for hotel staff on-board cruise ships

As an extension to the success of the wage benchmarking provided for deck & engine crew on-board cruise ships, Spinnaker are now providing salary benchmarking for hotel staff.

This benchmarking will cover roles in job families such as Medical, Activity & Entertainment, Food & Beverage, Purser, Housekeeping, Hotel Administration, Accounting, Marketing & PR, Reservations & Sales.

The reports aim to provide data by nationality and job family, and will not only cover monthly salaries, but also bonuses and gratuities.

Spinnaker have been benchmarking salaries and wages of seafaring and shorebased maritime professionals sinch 2007 and as a result have built up a reputation in the market as a trusted 3rd party.

The reports aim to enable Heads of Crewing and Hotel Directors to ensure that they are paying their hotel staff in line with the market.

Spinnaker are currently collecting data and reports will be available in July.

Please contact a member of the team to find out more.