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The TSA supports diversity in maritime programme

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The TSA, which promotes diversity in the inland waterways sector, welcomes the launch by Maritime UK, the industry body for the maritime sector, of its new Diversity in Maritime programme.

The programme will see the establishment of networks across diversity challenge areas, including the existing Women in Maritime Network plus two inaugural new groups, LGBT+ and Mental Health, which will build upon the structure of Women in Maritime established in 2018.

The TSA’s Chief Executive, Katherine Riggs, said: “I am delighted with this news which will help attract skilled, diverse people into the industry. It complements well the work the TSA is been doing to champion diversity on the Thames, such as the Women on the Water Network launched earlier this year and using the TSA’s annual #CareersOnTheThames to raise the profile of the industry to a wide diversity of young people in London, Kent and Essex.”

The launch ties in with the UK Government’s Maritime 2050 strategy which states: “The maritime workforce of the future will be diverse. New roles, new technologies and a changing image of the sector will draw in people from all backgrounds across the entire UK.”

Maritime UK is launching Diversity in Maritime in direct response to the flagship strategy’s recommendations, alongside the establishment of the new Maritime Skills Commission.

In a statement Maritime UK said the new measures would ensure the sector had a continuous pipeline of highly skilled, diverse people across its shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries. The UK Government has provided £730,000 to boost diversity, wellbeing and skills in maritime.

According to the Maritime HR Association’s 2019 Gender Market Analysis report, which captured data for over 30,000 employees working in shore-based positions around the globe, the number of women working in the sector increased by 7% over the last 12 months.

New HR Guidance for Recruiters on gender-neutral language has also been published and you can read the guidance here.

A series of webinars to support individual professional development across the sector has also been launched today, including sessions on unconscious bias, how to excel on camera when working from home and masterclasses on public speaking.

Ben Murray, Director, Maritime UK said: “Without a diverse workforce we will not be able to tackle the challenges we face – including recovering from Coronavirus or coming up with the solutions to fundamental missions like tackling climate change. A plurality of ideas and creative thinking is critical to the future success of UK maritime, one of Britain’s biggest industries. I’m really encouraged by the response from companies across the country to the new Diversity in Maritime programme, having seen such great collaborative work over the past two years on Women in Maritime.”

Debbie Cavaldoro, Co-Chair of the Taskforce, said: “I am delighted to be Co-Chairing the Diversity in Maritime Taskforce. Diversity is critical for our sector and I believe launching the Mental Health and LGBT+ Networks today, whilst ensuring our Women in Maritime network grows, will be a pivotal step forward. I look forward to working with the Taskforce members to ensure there is cross-collaboration and progress being made.”

Sue Terpilowski OBE, Co-Chair of the Taskforce and Chair of the Women in Maritime Network, said: I am proud to be Chair of the Women in Maritime Network and Co-Chair of the Diversity in Maritime Taskforce. Since the launch of Women in Maritime in 2018, our network has expanded to over 100 members who have guided development of several initiatives including the Women in Maritime Pledge, Charter, Speaker Bank, Interview Pool and Toolkits. Work is underway to continue grow these and ensure a strong spotlight continues to shine on our gender diversity work.”

Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “The Maritime sector offers an incredible variety of exciting roles and I want to make sure these fantastic opportunities can be accessed by everyone, helping the sector remain a truly fantastic place to work.

“By launching these new diversity networks, we are helping unlock the true potential of our workforce. With many more initiatives to come, I’m confident the industry will continue to develop a positive inclusive working culture as the Women in Maritime programme goes from strength to strength.”

Maritime UK has also launched a series of webinars on diversity topics, such as Unconscious Bias and How to Shine on Camera, as part of the professional development series.  These can be found here:

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