The maritime industry’s successful and sustainable future will rely on new insights and a highly skilled, diverse workforce that is able to adopt disruptive ideas.
Meeting these expectations will come into sharp focus as part of ‘The Next Generation’ as a central theme at Europort 2021.
According to The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey: A decade in review, millennials account for “the largest and most diverse generational cohort in the workforce today”. Smart, digitally savvy and independent, this is also a generation which holds organisations more accountable than ever before and favours employers which prioritise inclusion.
Creating avenues to listen and engage
Jillian Carson-Jackson, President of The Nautical Institute believes that encouraging young professionals to consider a career in maritime and nurturing next generation C-level executives demands a readiness to listen to what they have to say.
“It’s important to give the younger generation avenues to express their views, and to then take account of what they have said,” explains Carson-Jackson.
“The Nautical Institute has set up a multi-national Younger Members’ Council to do just that. This meets in tandem with our Council and brings to our debates the views of younger seafarers – male and female and with representation from every continent. We consult them on a wide variety of issues before decisions are made. This is a huge strength for us and offers insights into the issues and obstacles the younger generation face.”
Closing the gender gap
Traditionally conservative and male-dominated, progress is slowly being made to improve gender diversity across the industry. However, there is still a long way to go. As the first female president and an ex-seafarer, Carson-Jackson is committed to making diversity and inclusion a reality during her term, rather than just a slogan.
“We know that females continue to represent less than 2% of seafarers so I hope to attract more women to careers at sea – and our branches in over 50 locations can play a role in that,” says Carson-Jackson.
“What is encouraging however, is that we are seeing an increasing presence of women in other areas of the maritime industry. We will continue to work through forums such as the IMO to empower women in maritime through avenues such as its Training-Visibility-Recognition’ campaign. The Nautical Institute has already taken great strides to influence the international conversation. We are active participants at the IMO, along with chairing IALA* working groups in both the Vessel Traffic Service and e-Navigation Committees. We are also working closely with other like-minded organisations .”
Setting new standards
While the maritime industry continues to address diversity, it is important to remember that diversity is more than just gender, age, nationality and ethnicity. To attract and retain employees, organizations need to build inclusive cultures. This can be achieved by adopting behaviours, systems and processes that will truly support the creation of a diverse and inclusive working environment.
“Lloyd’s Register has been investing in initiatives to address diversity and aims to be a beacon of diversity and inclusion for the industry,” explains Rebecca Berry, Director of Culture, Diversity and Inclusion.
“We recognise that we need to work harder to address diversity and inclusion. To resolve this, we recently launched an ambitious three-year Belonging strategy. We set up colleague networks in January this year, each sponsored by an executive leader, aimed at identifying and removing barriers to inclusion in LR. Our colleague network leaders are collaborating with their counterparts in Maritime UK to exchange ideas and increase membership of the Belonging strategy.”
New hiring principles
“Lloyd’s Register has also introduced hiring principles requiring diverse shortlists for all senior roles. We have also re-contracted with our recruitment agencies to insist that they look harder and further for diverse talent. We’re reviewing our global mobility policy to make it easier for colleagues from historically excluded groups to develop their career, and have introduced much more flexible ways of working,” says Berry.
“Being a beacon of diversity and inclusion won’t happen overnight, but we’re determined to get there!”