Hutchison Ports has become the first major UK port to gain Women in Maritime Charter Certification.

Sue Terpilowski, Chairman of Maritime UK Women’s Task Force, presented the certificate and joined Port of Felixstowe staff at an event to mark the achievement and to celebrate International Women’s Day 2020.

Clemence Cheng, Hutchison Port’s Executive Director commented:  “A year ago, Hutchison Ports (UK) pledged its support for the Women in Maritime initiative. We are proud to be honouring that pledge by being the first major UK port to gain Charter Certification. The Women in Maritime initiative provides businesses with the tools and support to affect the changes necessary to improve gender diversity within the industry.

“We are committed to implementing changes within our own organisation, leading by example to improve our gender balance. We have developed a strategy that ensures we make diversity and inclusion the ‘norm’ in our historically male dominated business.”

Sue Terpilowski, Chair of the Women in Maritime Taskforce said:  “I am proud to be here today to celebrate Hutchison Ports UK becoming the first major UK port to gain Women in Maritime Charter Certification. We hope other ports will follow by taking the Pledge and apply to become Charter Certified.

“The Women in Maritime Taskforce brings together leaders from across the maritime sector to identify practical steps to increase the number of women in maritime, and crucially within senior roles across its shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries. We believe achieving a balanced workforce at all levels in the maritime sector will undoubtedly improve culture, behaviour, outcomes, profitability and productivity.

“We encourage companies to sign the Women in Maritime Pledge. The Pledge, which has been signed by over 150 companies to date, states: ‘We are committed to building an employment culture that actively supports and celebrates gender diversity, at all levels, throughout our organisation and our industry’. These companies are all committing to take practical steps and set measurable, ambitious goals.

“Women’s equality cannot wait. We ask that this International Women’s Day you consider signing the Pledge or apply to become Charter Certified.”

Maritime UK’s Women in Maritime Charter is at the pinnacle of its work to tackle gender diversity across the UK maritime sector. Companies applying for Charter Certification must share their baseline data and commit to an action plan to set and meet 5 or 10 year targets to address gender diversity by tackling fairness, equality and inclusion at all levels throughout their business and the industry.

About the Maritime UK Women’s in Maritime Taskforce

Since its establishment in January 2018, the Taskforce has launched several key initiatives including two new resources. They were created to respond to specific challenges companies have raised in their mission to improve diversity. Namely, too few women speakers at industry conferences and a lack of gender diversity in new recruits.

The first resource is a ‘Speaker Bank’ comprising women speakers. The initiative provides a database of women speakers for panels and conferences. Through its work, the Taskforce heard that many conference organisers claimed that they were unable to identify women to speak on a relevant topic at events. The speaker bank tags speakers with areas of industry expertise. The organisers of London International Shipping Week have committed to promoting the speaker bank to those organising events during the week.

Maritime UK has also started a series of public speaking workshops to help support more women to join the speaker bank.

The second resource is an “Interview Pool”, which will loan maritime women to companies that may lack diversity on interview panels. Research by the Taskforce identified that more diverse interview panels or panels with HR professionals with diversity training are more likely to recruit a diverse workforce. However, a number of smaller companies in particular 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.