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Women in maritime

30 June 2017

In support of Seafarers Awareness Week 2017, the Maritime HR Association would like to share some interesting facts about women in the maritime industry.

• Maritime HR Association salary survey data from 2016 showed just a third of global shore-based maritime positions filled by women. We know that at sea, this will be even less.

• Most of these women occupy administrative and junior positions, with less than a quarter of a percent (0.25%) of the female workforce making it to the top Executive level positions. The proportion of men at each level of the hierarchy increases in line with seniority – see chart opposite.

• In light of the new UK gender pay reporting legislation, we investigated the pay gap in the UK maritime sector and estimated this to be up to as much as 40% - with the difference in bonus pay predicted to be even greater.

• We can safely assume this gap can be largely attributed to majority of women in the industry undertaking lower paid work. Interestingly, this compares to an industry wide gap of around 19% in the UK overall.

So how is your business working to address this inequality? Ask yourselves:
• What is the distribution of women in your workforce? Look at how many women you employ at senior management and executive level, and consider how you can encourage more. There are likely to be certain parts of the business and job families with few or no women at all, so think about why that might be and how you can attract more.

• What is the difference between male and female pay? Calculate your gender pay gap, look for problem areas and think about what you can do to minimise any pay differentials.
There’s no one easy answer to this global, industry wide problem. That’s why we’re still working to address it some 20 years after we first realised there was a problem. But chances are the proposals to address both of the questions posed here will be complimentary to each other.

Leadership and talent pipelines that arise from effective workforce planning are a great start. Think about the impact of unconscious bias within your business too, and deliver clear messages from the top about the importance of diversity and equality in achieving organisational success. If you haven’t already done so, implement some proactive female focussed solutions (internal networks, mentoring opportunities and/or support mechanisms for those with caring responsibilities). These don’t have to be complicated, or costly.

While as an industry we may have a big mountain to climb on this issue, the flip side is that we have more potential to make significant change. I hope we can help each other make this a reality. Please share your success stories so that others’ can benefit too. And good luck!

Sarah Hutley, Compensation & Benefits Consultant, HR Consulting


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