Leading maritime companies sign gender equality pledge

Carnival UK chief Josh Weinstein among 40 maritime executives committing to greater diversity in the sector

Carnival UK led a group of high-profile British businesses and trade bodies in signing a new charter aimed at tackling gender diversity in the maritime sector.

Josh Weinstein, president of Carnival UK – a part of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest leisure travel company and a recognised leader in promoting diversity and inclusion -- was among maritime executives gathering in Southampton to sign the Women in Maritime pledge, a statement of intent to improve fairness, equality and inclusion in the sector.

The pledge has been signed by major companies including BP Shipping, the Port of London Authority, DP World, Associated British Ports and Peel Ports as well as trade bodies including British Marine, British Ports Association, UK Major Ports Group, Society of Maritime Industries, Maritime London, and the UK Chamber of Shipping. Other signatories include the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, Nautilus International, Seafarers UK, Solent LEP and Mersey Maritime.

The companies signing the pledge will now be engaged with the detailed development of the Women in Maritime Charter, which is being developed by a special maritime task force and is due to be launched in the autumn of 2018.

 The charter will play a significant role in creating targets for each signatory company, helping improve gender balance across the maritime industries, including shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine. Currently, only 3% of seafarers globally are women.

 All companies signing the pledge will be making clear their support for creating positive change within their respective organisations, and collectively across the UK maritime sector.

 The industry will produce a series of toolkits based upon best practice to support companies meeting the obligations they committed to under the charter. The maritime sector moves 95% of Britain’s international trade with £500 billion each year, supporting nearly a million UK jobs (932,000) or one in every 33.

David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK, said: “Today is truly a landmark moment for the UK maritime sector.

“Without a diverse workforce, we will not be able to tackle the challenges we face – including innovating cutting-edge technology, which is required to decarbonise shipping. A plurality of ideas and creative thinking are absolutely critical to the future success of UK maritime, one of Britain’s biggest industries.

 “I’m encouraged by the reaction from companies across the sector. There is real determination to make progress and to do so as an industry. Given the size of our sector, we have a real opportunity to affect significant change across the whole country.”