This year’s International Day of the Seafarer was linked with a call by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for the maritime industries to declare their support for gender equality with #IAmOnBoard campaign.
The hashtag links with the IMO World Maritime Day theme, Empowering Women in the Maritime Community. “To everyone in shipping – you are missing out on a huge talent pool if you don’t recognise and empower women in the workplace. Join our Day of the Seafarer campaign and get on board with gender equality at sea,” said IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim.
“Gender equality is vital for sustainable development. Join our Day of the Seafarer campaign to promote seafaring as a career for women. I’m on board with gender equality at sea. Are you?”
In Singapore Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore highlighted a need to create greater awareness of the profession to bride the gender gap. “Women seafarers only make up two per cent of the total number of seafarers sailing the high seas while just a third of global shore-based maritime positions are filled by women.
“We need to do more to bridge this gender gap by bringing greater awareness of this profession to the masses. MPA, working with partners such as the Singapore Maritime Foundation, is working hard to attract more people to join the sector which offers plenty of opportunities regardless of their gender,” she said.
Seafarer charity Apostleship of the Sea had similar message. Anne McLaren, AoS Regional Port Chaplain for North East England & Humber, said: “Our challenge is to reach out to girls and young women to tell them about the various seafaring and shipping career opportunities available to them so they can make informed choices about their future occupation.
“Shipowners and shipping companies should also ensure that working conditions on board are conducive for both female and male seafarers,” she added.
Director General of the Jamaica Maritime Authority Rear Admiral Peter Brady said it was proud to support the IMO’s gender equality campaign.
“We are very involved in helping to train the next generation of female seafarers at international standards, through the Caribbean Maritime University where women are provided the opportunity to be equipped to pursue seafaring careers.”