Empowering women isn't just an idea or a concept. It is a
necessity that requires strong, positive action to address deep-seated
structural, institutional and cultural barriers. Shipping has always been a
male-dominated industry and the same applies to many of the associated jobs and
professions in the maritime community.
But that is changing; and there are many reasons why.
Gender equality has been recognized as one of the key platforms
on which people can build a sustainable future. It is one of the 17 goals that
underpin the UN's Sustainable Development Agenda, which countries all over the
world have pledged to implement. The maritime community itself is missing out
on a huge talent pool if it fails to properly empower women in the workplace.
Gender-diverse teams are more productive than male dominated teams and
gender-diverse workplaces promote better job satisfaction, employee engagement
and retention. Having more women in the workplace is beneficial for organizations
as a whole, for men and for women.
And it's not just about numbers. Research has shown that
companies with a higher percentage of women in senior management positions
significantly outperform those that do not. IMO has been running a highly
successful campaign to promote women in the maritime community for more than 30
years. Of course, much more work remains, and it needs the whole of the maritime
community, including IMO's Member States and the maritime industries, to come together
and commit to ensuring that women truly are empowered.
There are already some great stories out there and this year
we want to highlight as many as we can; and we want you to tell your stories,
too. So let us make 2019 a year of action; a year to break down all barriers;
empowering women in the maritime community.