Breake the bias

Maritime UK calls for maritime organisations to #BreaktheBias this International Women’s Day


Today, Maritime UK is calling upon the sector to #BreaktheBias and commit to gender equality in 2022 and beyond.

This year’s IWD theme: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” recognises the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all. Today Maritime UK plans to spotlight all the women, and allies, across the maritime sector, who are committed to breaking the bias and creating a world free of stereotypes and discrimination.

The barriers faced by women are not unique to maritime and today the Women in Maritime Network is delighted to be partnering Ports, Skills and Safety on a new Women in Ports Network and with Women in Transport again at a special All Party Parliamentary Group event for MPs and Peers on ‘Transport’s gender challenge and the future of the industry’.

Maritime UK is also launching a new Global Women in Maritime series with Women in Maritime Australia to share best practice and discuss barriers faced. The first event will be held on International Day for Women in Maritime (18 May) discussing the theme of allyship.

Maritime UK’s Diversity in Maritime programme is committed to breaking the bias and stigma of menopause and is today launching a new menopause hub to share best practice and toolkits for people experiencing menopause and guidance for employers and family members. The need for such a resource was identified by the programme’s Women in Maritime network.

The Diversity in Maritime programme is committed to equality at all levels of the workforce and has developed a series of initiatives and resources to assist organisations to commit and support gender equality including:


  • Women in Maritime Pledge: The first step to becoming a Diversity in Maritime Charter Company is to sign the Women in Maritime Pledge. Over 130 companies have now been signed a statement of intent to demonstrate commitment by organisations to making progress on diversity.
  • Online toolkits: continuously updated online toolkits with best practice guides and policies including the HR Guidance for Recruiters. The guide which highlights ways in which basic assumptions and unconscious biases affect the ways in which jobs are advertised, as well as the easy steps that can be taken to create a more conscious recruitment process. It makes a series of recommendations, with examples, including balancing feminine and masculine words in job descriptions and including statements about what the employer is offering, beyond salary.
  • Diversity in Maritime networks: Four networks, Women, Mental Health, Pride and Ethnicity, were established and expanded on as part of the Diversity in Maritime programme. The networks bring together individuals from protected characteristics, and allies, from across the maritime sector in a safe-space environment to share good practice and discuss barriers faced. The networks are supported by four working groups who create solutions to combat barriers.
  • Interview Pool: which loans maritime women to companies that may lack diversity on interview panels. Research by the Women in Maritime Network identified all that more diverse interview panels or panels with HR professionals with diversity are more likely to recruit a diverse workforce. However, several smaller companies highlighted that they do not have access to such recruiters within their staff. The interview pool provides a facility for these companies to access relevant skills and expertise as well as tips and tricks for conducting an inclusive interview.
  • Speaker Bank: provides a database of diverse speakers for panels and conferences with specific industry expertise


Chrissie Clarke, Head of Diversity and Operations, Maritime UK said: 

“We are delighted to be launching our new Menopause Hub today in response to requests via our Women in Maritime and other networks. We must break the bias and help colleagues better support those going through menopause. The new hub will help signpost to some of the best guidance and resources we have found and ask colleagues to share other good materials with us so that we can share those too.

“Maritime UK is also excited to be launching our new Global Women in Maritime series with Women in Maritime Australia to shine a light on gender equality across the globe. Making progress on diversity and inclusion is a global challenge, and as a global sector, we are really looking forward to seeing how we can make quicker progress together.”

Sue Terpilowski, Co-Chair, Diversity in Maritime Taskforce/Chair, Women in Maritime Network said: 

“Women’s equality cannot wait. We ask that this International Women’s Day colleagues across the sector consider signing Maritime UK’s Women in Maritime Pledge, share our new Menopause Hub, and commit to #BreaktheBias.”


This article is shared by courtesy Maritime UK. The article is written by Chrissie Clarke, Head of Diversity and Operations/Secretary to Maritime Skills Commission.

Click here for more news about Women in the maritime industry. 

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