Nautilus has teamed up with almost 40 leading UK shipowners and maritime industry groups to launch a new initiative to increase the number of women in shipping.
Operators including Carnival UK, BP Shipping, the Port of London Authority and Associated British Ports signed a charter pledging action to improve fairness, equality and inclusion in the sector.
Other bodies backing the programme include the UK Chamber of Shipping, DP World, Peel Ports, Mersey Maritime and Maritime London.
The pledge was drawn up by a task force developing the Women in Maritime Charter, due to be launched in the autumn, and companies signing the pledge are now working on detailed targets to improve the gender balance across the sector.
The industry will produce a series of best practice toolkits to support companies meeting their charter commitments.
Maritime UK chairman David Dingle described the launch as 'a landmark moment for the UK maritime sector' and warned that the industry would not be able to tackle the challenges it faces unless it has a diverse workforce.
Women currently account for just 3% of the seafaring workforce, he said, and the industry should be aiming for an initial target to increase this to 15% - 20%. 'I'm encouraged by the reaction from companies across the sector,' he added. 'There is real determination to make progress, and to do so as an industry.'
Nautilus head of strategy Debbie Cavaldoro said the Union is working to support female maritime professionals and encourage more women to consider it as a career, but there is a long way to go. 'The first steps have been taken in admitting there is a problem – now we all need to work together to solve it,' she added.
Follow this story
First four UK companies gain Women in Maritime diversity charter certification
- 20 May 2019
Strong progress reported in maritime gender balance initiative
- 08 March 2019
Union pledges support for improving the maritime gender balance
- 19 July 2018
UK industry launches women's taskforce
- 08 March 2018