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Inclusivity begins at the top for all maritime employers


Lack of inclusivity is every employer’s Achilles heel that thwarts forming a well-balanced team

Equipment shortage from COVID-19 is expected to ripple its way till 2023. Employers who wish to augment their crew size to address the upward demand forecasted in the next years must be ready to foster a sense of inclusivity in their team.

That sense of belonging
Seafaring has been an attractive career option till the pandemic struck, and resulted in an acute worldwide labour shortage. Unfortunately, COVID-19’s movements worsened the manpower deficit. Common occurrences like extended stays onboard diluted the attractiveness of seafaring. Employers can address this challenge by making work conditions conducive, as pointed by a prior Deloitte Millennial Survey.

Another McKinsey Diversity Study pointed out that the top quartile for gender diversity were 21 per cent more likely to outperform on profitability and 27 per cent more likely to have superior value creation. Additionally, companies in the top quartile for cultural and ethnic diversity were 33 per cent more likely to have industry-leading profitability.

Diversity for the maritime sector
With an existent culture of inclusivity, all employees would be more likely to proactively contribute, even neutralising the concept of “ethnicity minority”. However, we need to be clear that it is beyond mere hiring. Otherwise, such is nothing more than a superficial effort to add variety through headcount. This hollow (recruitment) act can cause undue stress and lead to disengagement, with plummeting performance as the final destination.

For the maritime industry known to be dominated by men, undertones of the sector as “meant for men” distorted hiring practices. Ally Cedeno, Founder of Women Offshore flagged out, “While it is important for the industry to expand recruitment beyond their current pipelines, they need to seriously ponder why numbers of women and marginalised groups are low. Companies cannot expect to be diverse unless their culture is inclusive.

“Employers need to evaluate biases for sidelining women and marginalised groups, assess how they have systematically perpetuated the retention of a homogenous workforce, and acknowledge that both the corporate and vessel culture can be very different. Unless companies keep their fingers on the pulse of culture, any recruitment efforts to diversify are guaranteed to be short lived.” Summing up, the gender imbalance will hinder productivity and impact employees’ motivation to give their best.


Crewing Online News Team
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