Charter launch to increase gender diversity in maritime industry

Discussion at the Mersey Maritime HQ

Industry body Mersey Maritime is hosting the Northern launch of the Women in Maritime Charter next Thursday, September 13, at Liverpool Town Hall.

The event marks a number of celebrations taking place across the country as part of Maritime UK Week.

Businesses will be asked to sign up to the Charter and commit to driving greater diversity within their organisations – from the shop floor to the boardroom.

Mersey Maritime commercial manager Ruth Wood said: “The launch of the Charter is for businesses to pledge their support for creating positive change within their own organisations.

“Working with the taskforce, signatories will set out stretching targets with agreed timeframes to improve gender diversity that will be reported against regularly.”

Executives from across Liverpool City Region’s £4bn maritime sector recently met at Mersey Maritime’s Birkenhead headquarters to discuss their role in the national campaign.

They included a diverse range of businesses , such as Liverpool Cruise Terminal, KVH, and Taylor Marine.

Ms Wood, who sits on the Women in Maritime taskforce, delivered a presentation about the campaign. The taskforce comprises both maritime industry leaders and high-level government officials.

A number of important points were raised, including making sure the campaign didn’t simply become a “numbers game” where firms would simply fill lower-skilled roles with women.

Ms Wood explained that the charter would assess gender diversity across four key areas: Recruitment; promotion; retention; and the proportion of women in decision-making roles.

There was an agreement that the campaign needed to be a catalyst for deeper cultural change where diversity at all levels of a company or organisation was the norm.

Next week’s event at Liverpool Town Hall will feature Sue Terpilowski, chair of the Women in Maritime Taskforce, Angie Redhead, head of city assets, Culture Liverpool, Kathryn Neilson, director, Merchant Navy Training Board, and Julia Bradley, director of sales and marketing, Peel Ports Group, as speakers.

The event is being sponsored by the Mayor of Liverpool, Merchant Navy Training Board and Complete Training Solutions, and will provide businesses with the opportunity to find out more about the Women in Maritime initiative and the Charter.