Shoreham Port leads work on attracting more women to maritime jobs

Shoreham Port celebrated International Women’s Day by inviting female staff across all departments to share images of themselves on social media.

Monday, 18th March 2019, 12:04 pm
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 12:06 pm

As a member of the Women in Maritime Taskforce, the port is playing a key role in work across Britain to increase gender diversity in the sector.

Working closely with other businesses, the port is looking at ways to create employment cultures that celebrate gender diversity at all levels.

Nicky Goldsbrough, director of corporate services at Shoreham Port, has led work on creating an interview pool that will loan maritime women for interview panels.

Female staff at Shoreham Port celebrating International Women's Day

She said: “Collaboration has been key to the success of the taskforce so far and the interview pool builds on this through broadening the networks of women in maritime, sharing skills and enabling gender balanced interview pools to be created, all of which is pivotal for attracting more women into the sector.”

The interview pool was one of two new practical tools launched by the taskforce last Friday during an International Women’s Day visit to Belfast Harbour to encourage more businesses to sign the Women in Maritime Pledge.

Nusrat Ghani, maritime minister, said: “I want to see more women enjoy a career at sea or on shore. Recruitment can often be the first point candidates encounter the maritime sector and it is vital our ambition for greater diversity is reflected at this stage.

“This is just one example of the fantastic progress being made by the Women in Maritime Taskforce to open up this industry to everyone, no matter their gender or background.”

The new resources were created to respond to specific challenges companies raised in their mission to improve diversity. It was said there were too few female speakers at industry conferences and a lack of gender diversity on interview panels, as well as in the new recruits that follow.

A new speaker bank has been created to provide a database of female speakers for panels and conferences.

Sue Terpilowski, taskforce chairman, said: “By taking this proactive approach of helping organisers to find speakers through our pool we believe we are solving a problem.

“We knew there were qualified and experienced women within the industry who would enhance any panel, finding them was the issue. So now, there should be no excuses not to have gender balanced panels.

“This will not only enable the audience to gain a good broad insight into the issues being discussed but clearly also shows that women are making an impact within the industry and are good role models to everyone.”

The interview pool and speaker bank were launched to help businesses fulfil their promise to create employment cultures that support, encourage and celebrate gender diversity, at all levels.

Harry Theochari, chairman of Maritime UK, said: “I am delighted that the taskforce is producing such tangible results.

“Diversity is incredibly important to our sector. Today we miss out on huge talent and diversity of thought, which are essential to the future success of our £40bn sector. The resources launched today will help in our mission to change our maritime sector for the better.”