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Little change to gender pay in UK Maritime

16 April 2019


On the second anniversary of the obligation to report gender pay figures, HR Consulting from Spinnaker Global (in conjunction with their legal partners at Clyde & Co) brought together a group of maritime HR professionals to discuss the challenges and opportunities on gender diversity within this unique industry.

Using their 2018 Maritime HR Association salary survey data, HR Consulting were able to provide an overview of the gender pay gap within UK shore-based maritime.

Conducted in the spirit of the UK legislative requirements, the figures show men earn nearly 44% more than women (based on mean average salaries). Men are more likely to receive a bonus too, with that bonus almost 60% higher than those paid to female employees. There is a very little change compared to last year, so the group came together to discuss why the pay gap exists and what can be done to try and reduce it. Some of the key themes arising were:

Culture Change - the industry has a reputation of being traditional, structured and reluctant or slow to change. This environment is limiting opportunities to improve gender diversity and rather than wait for the change to come, attendees expressed the desire to challenge some of those traditions, structures and ways of working. Culture change won’t happen overnight, but some specific changes identified to help promote this change were:

Assumption busting – we can all start by challenging some of the most common industry assumptions applied to our people and businesses. For example, is global mobility essential for senior leadership roles and is seafaring experience always critical? Thinking differently about how the relevant skills and experience can be found or replicated in another way will increase the opportunities for women to progress.

Senior buy in & accountability – lack of senior management support and understanding of the benefits of diversity and inclusion generally are felt to be holding the industry back. The traditional views and attitudes of key decision makers can promote fear of new ways of working and resistance to change. Lack of women in senior roles is exacerbating the issue, so identifying ways for female talent to progress and become role models for the next wave of talent will be critical to success.

Solutions for all – opportunities for part time and flexible working need to become more visible, acceptable and possibly most importantly - open to all. Family responsibilities are not just a women’s issue; men need to feel equally able to take on all or part of this role. Business can encourage this change by providing wholly supportive environments and showcasing positive case studies to increase take up and normalise flexible working for all.

If you want to find out more about the gender pay gap in maritime or how to become a member of the Maritime HR Association, please contact Sarah Hutley via email or call +44 (0)1702 481660.