Achieving Greater Diversity in the Maritime Industry

Jan 12, 2023 · 9 mins read ·

Maritime Recruitment, Maritime Industry
crew on deck

Image Courtesy of the IMO's #WomenInMaritime Campaign

For an internationally competitive and massive industry, the maritime sector still has a thing or two to improve regarding genuine diversity and inclusivity.

Diversity provides access to a wider variety of talent, not only that associated with a specific worldview, nationality, or other constricting categorization.

Instead of focusing on a limited portion of your client or customer base, it helps to give insight into the wants and motivations of the entire group.

Additionally, it might increase your company’s effectiveness, success, and profitability, as demonstrated by highly reputable studies.

However, it has proven far more challenging to implement than planned.

Businesses across various sectors, including the maritime industry, are stepping up efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in their workforces. Doing so will pay off for both the workers and the businesses themselves.

Read more: The Future of Maritime Recruitment: Adapting to Industry Trends

As previously stated, there are still opportunities and a need to do more. But why is diversity so important?

And how can shipowners, maritime industry leaders, manning agents, and seafarers do their part to achieve greater diversity and genuine inclusion?

Diversity gains momentum in the maritime industry

Diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) have been quietly gaining ground in the shipping and maritime sector.

Why is there a sudden increase in believers clamoring for DEI? The primary forces influencing this gain are:

  1. The financial sector now evaluates performance with heavy reliance on ESG reporting.

ESG disclosure is a way for a company’s management team to publicly report on how well it is doing on various Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues.

And guess what is taking center stage? That’s right—DEI.

A crucial part of any ESG reporting approach should be human capital disclosures like recruiting procedures, fair compensation, and diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI).

2. When contemplating new companies, employees are factoring DEI into their decision-making process.

Highly educated young professionals have given their personal values—such as a dedication to sustainability, charity, or social impact—more weight in choosing where to work during the previous ten years.

Because of this, many businesses declare that their goal is to change the world.

However, today’s Generation Z job seekers and millennials are raising the bar and expecting employers to change as much as they do.

This entails employing a more diverse workforce, assisting people of color in rising through the ranks, allowing them more influence over decisions, and facilitating difficult talks about institutional racism.

As important as they are, mission statements regarding racial fairness and quick answers to current events must be more than mere props. Yet, young job candidates claim to be sensitive to anything that smells performance-related.

3. There is now a need for diverse suppliers to be included in the procurement process.

Introducing new goods, services, and solutions and incorporating supplier diversity in procurement fosters creativity.

Multiple avenues are made available for purchasing goods and services, encouraging price and service level competition between current and potential vendors for your business.

Corporate leaders are responsible for prioritizing DEI and enacting the necessary change inside their organizations, linking diversity to business strategy across the short, medium, and long terms.

Executive management and the maritime industry need to give DEI the priority that other sectors have devoted for years, given the rapid breakthroughs in decarbonization, technical advancements, and the widely documented worldwide battle on talent.

Is the maritime industry not “diverse” enough?

The answer is yes if we base it on actual employees working for the marine sector. The industry could exert more effort in ensuring a diverse workforce.

According to a 2021 poll from the London-based Diversity Study Group (DSG), the shipping industry’s shoreside workforce is disproportionately underrepresented in terms of women and minorities at the senior level.

Although it may not come as a surprise, DSG reports that the poll shows employers are becoming more eager to embrace the advantages of data on DEI (diversity, equality, and inclusiveness) to help decision-making and address the rising importance of DEI concerns to employers and recruits.

The analysis is based on the findings of a poll taken by more than 3,000 members of the group’s member businesses, which span the maritime supply chain and include ship owners, operators, managers, and charterers.

The poll indicates a serious underrepresentation of women and people of color at high levels in the industry.

According to the data, women presently hold 27% of C-suite roles, but only 14% of positions at the level of department directors.

At the junior and trainee level, where the split is 63% female and 35% male, this gender disparity is not present.

The survey also investigated the gender gap between the departments.

With 82% of its personnel identifying as male, IT is still the department with the highest male-employee ratio. Technical & fleet operations come in second place, with only 19% of posts being filled by women.

In contrast, there is a higher proportion of women working in middle-management positions, insurance, legal, human resources, administrative, and support roles.

How can the maritime industry achieve diversity?

The maritime industry benefits from diversity and can learn from other industries that have made significant strides in this area.

The industry will be able to advance with the best practice programs and methodologies by applying the lessons gained and effective practices from other sectors.

Additionally, it is crucial to educate businesses and workers across all levels of the maritime sector on the advantages of inclusion and diversity.

Regardless of a company’s size or budget, diversity is achievable, which is something every organization and person should keep in mind. However, participation at every level is necessary for diversity to be effective.

Efficient monitoring systems should back a strong diversity strategy and processes to create a genuinely inclusive firm.

For maritime to offer the ideal atmosphere for diversity to flourish and be sustainable, recruiting strategies, learning and development planning, and assessing working arrangements, are vital tools.

Tap a diverse pool of seafarers with Martide

As a crewing and recruiting solution trusted by shipowners and industry leaders, Martide aims to deliver streamlined, end-to-end services.

This complete solution benefits not just the shipowners but especially the global pool of qualified seafarers looking for their next big assignment.

Seafarers who utilize Martide’s platform will immediately gain access to a streamlined application process, encouraging them to apply for your openings.

While the job descriptions are lengthy and outline the essential duties and responsibilities of each opening, our career pages are straightforward to navigate. They bear the name and logo of your shipping company as well.

Advertising open positions are essential, and we’ll work with you to reach more seafarers than ever—regardless of location, age, and gender.

How? Martide gives you direct access to a worldwide network of manning agents who will post available positions on the platform.

You can advertise your open positions on a tailored careers page and collaborate closely with manning agencies to tap into a global talent pool of seamen and seawomen.

Like what you’ve heard about a more accessible approach to diversify your recruitment efforts?

There’s only one thing left to do—get in touch with Martide! Learn more about our solutions to help you manage and retain your crew.

Tricia Tan

Tricia Tan

Former content writer at Martide.

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