Shipping connects all corners of the globe, enables trade between countries on opposite sides of the world and brings different nationalities and diverse cultures together – often in the same crew.
And yet, for such an inherently diverse industry, the typical shore-based workplace for a shipping organisation is often… less diverse.
How big a problem is this? The truth is that we don’t know. However, there is ample evidence from other professional sectors to show that without deliberate action to support and encourage all forms of diversity in the workplace, organisations will fail to open themselves up to the full range of talents available to them – and in order to act, we first need to understand the scale of the challenge and gather the data needed to choose the right course of action and to benchmark progress.
The good news is that these first steps are now being taken in the shipping industry.
BLUE is proud to be working with the Diversity Study Group, a new membership body founded to take on this challenge. The Diversity Study Group is the first organisation dedicated to championing diversity and inclusion in all its forms in the shipping and energy sectors, including gender, ethnicity, age and regional differentiation.
The goal of the Diversity Study Group is to be the leading resource and centre of excellence for diversity and inclusion in the shipping and energy sectors. It will measure and benchmark progress, share best practice and help member organisations to improve their policies and practices, in order to enjoy the full benefits of a diverse, inclusive workplace. All laudable and overdue goals that deserve the support of progressive organisations in our industry. The work of the group begins with a survey to be conducted this autumn that will gather the vital data on the true state of diversity in shipping.
The IMO and others have done some brilliant campaigning to support the cause of gender equality at sea, not least this year’s ‘I am onboard’ initiative. It is time to extend the same urgency to the cause of diversity in all forms in shipping’s workplaces. BLUE looks forward to supporting the DiversityStudy Group as it embarks on this initiative.
To learn more about the Diversity Study Group, visit https://diversitystudygroup.com.