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Seafarers use #ChooseToChallenge hashtag for more women in shipping

Seafarers use #ChooseToChallenge hashtag for more women in shipping

The theme for this year's International Women's Day is #ChooseToChallenge, a concept that is especially relevant to the shipping industry, where women hold just 5% of leadership positions.


Challenge brings progress, which is why #ChooseToChallenge was chosen as the theme for International Women's Day 2021, which has been observed annually since 1911 as a reminder of the importance of gender equality.

Women make up a small percentage of the world's 1.6 million seafarers, for a variety of reasons ranging from maternity constraints to harassment fears, acceptance issues, and so on.

Just 15,465 women out of a total of 210,000 merchant mariners in the United States are female, and only 4,729 of these have a credential endorsed as ‘Master.' Just 149 of them have earned the title of "Master Unlimited – Any Gross Tons."

The proportion of male and female workers in the global shore-based workforce remained largely stable in 2020, according to the latest data from Spinnaker's Maritime HR Association – 56 percent male, 41 percent female, and 3 percent unknown.

However, when it comes to seniority and specializations, women hold 95 percent of all administrative jobs, compared to just 5% of maritime executive leadership team positions.

Last year's highlight in terms of global action for more female leadership roles in the maritime sector was the IMO's newly announced SheEO leadership program, which aims to boost women with leadership skills for the maritime sector.

The gender pay gap is described as the disparity between working men's and women's gross hourly earnings, a pattern that appears to be persisting amid global efforts to achieve more substantive gender equality. Women paid 14.1 percent less per hour in 2020 than men, according to official EU estimates.

Although female representation in the maritime industry appears to have remained constant in 2020 globally, the maritime gender pay gap in the UK has widened slightly, to a current gap of 43 percent, according to the latest figures from Spinnaker's Maritime HR Association. In terms of income, this equates to a £67,000 average male salary vs £38,500 for females.

Maritime Business World 

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