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Gender equality advocated for the shipping industry


Though more inclusive now, the sector can do better to welcome more ladies into the field

Diversity might be prevalent in some shipping sectors today. There are however women who still regretted not speaking up, or asking to be included socially.

Look at ladies differently
At the Women in Shipping Summit last month, Claudia Paschkewitz, Managing Director of Hanse Bereederung, believed women are treated much better now than when she joined the sector in 1989. She commented more can be done to boost gender diversity. Recalling her past experience, Paschkewitz wished (on hindsight) she was more vocal after having suffered social exclusions.

Paschkewitz noted, “Things have improved, although we are still not where I think we should be, as we need more diversity. I started as an apprentice and was thrown into a man’s world. There were no women in senior positions in my first company, which I did not notice it was norm then. However, I ask myself now, ‘Should I have questioned the balance?”

Mark O’Neil, President of Columbia Shipmanagement shared similar sentiments. He is heartened to witness diversity since his joining the maritime industry in the mid-90s. Prior to his current appointment, O’Neil was a British Army Officer for 5 years before entering maritime law. He also served as a partner in international firms during his 25-year maritime legal career. He asserted, “Diversity in all its forms is an important issue. We have to be blind to differences. I do not see a woman or man in front of me, but a person, and that is the most important thing.”

He related an account when he headed a legal firm’s maritime department, where there were no ladies in the team. His move in promoting 2 ladies to be partners made a tremendous difference in partnership meetings – adding more balance and reason. Advocating for ladies’ inclusion, O’Neil asserted, “It is not acceptable for young women to be left out of lunch meetings or for their voice to not be heard. There is a responsibility on women and men in senior positions to fight the corner for the next generation.”


Crewing Online News Team
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