European Union incentivates the participation of women in the Maritime Industry
The European Union tends to be a step ahead advocating towards the development of maritime industry before any other union or country. Mainly, the maritime industry has been a male predominant sector, nonetheless, the gender inequality has slowed down the real potential that an equilibrium may bring.
Therefore, the (ETF) and the Shipowners’ Associations of the European Community (ECSA) have come together to debate proposals to increase the participation of women in the shipping industry within Europe.
World Maritime News mentions that currently, only 2% of the marine labor force available to the EU fleet is composed of women, while gender equality is being placed at the center of the EU’s core values for sustainable and inclusive growth.
In essence, the debate was focused on maritime training and professional development for women, as well as on the recruitment and retention of women in the shipping industry.
¨Together with representatives of ETF and ECSA, the participants came from a wide range of stakeholders, such as the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Council, the Training Council of the Merchant Navy of the United Kingdom, the national administrations of France and the United Kingdom, researchers from Paris The University of Descartes and the European Community of Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), which were there to share good practices from other sectors.¨ WMN adds.
“If we want strong, prosperous and socially sustainable maritime clusters in Europe, gender diversity should be a guiding principle as a means of attracting and retaining new talents in the shipping industry,” said Said Martin Dorsman, General Secretary of ECSA.
ECSA said the meeting demonstrated that the social partners “are willing to work together on this issue and have taken a first step towards finding concrete proposals for joint action.”
In Latin America we are even more unbalanced in gender equality in the participation of women working at sea. However, jobs at shore closely related to the maritime industry have a higher representative participation among areas of freight forwarding, logistics, customs, ports and even maritime operations. Governments and maritime authorities must manage ways to encourage women to join the maritime industry since their contribution is vital for the sustainable development of the sector and the underlying areas of competence.
Needless to say, other unions and countries can benefit from adecuate gender equality policies within the shipping industry and other subyacent industries following the steps of first movers, like the EU.