There is still a significant gender imbalance in maritime, says IMO chief. Kitack Lim says times are changing but we need to accelerate that change.
The theme for this year highlights the importance of collaboration and networking in achieving gender equality in the maritime sector.
IMO´s Secretary General Kitack Lim mentions that IMO is addressing the industry’s gender imbalance and has been supporting gender equality.
Over the past eight years, there has been a 45.8 per cent increase in the female global seafaring workforce and no one can doubt that women are now part of the maritime world in ways that didn’t exist 10 years ago. But what hasn’t changed is the significant gender imbalance across the industry, says CEO Sarah Baade from Sailors’ Society’s Trustees.
Women seafarers face a series of gender-related challenges working in a male-dominated maritime environment. These challenges include lower pay, stress, anxiety, depression, isolation, loneliness and occupational injuries.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) itself tries quite hard to encourage women, while it is notable that it works with many like-minded entities in this regard including Imogen, Wista International, and internally within the Secretariat where there is notable work underway on gender and diversity.
The IMO is marking the occasion with a two-day conference at IMO Headquarters in London, United Kingdom, on the empowerment of women in the industry.
“The theme for this year is “Mobilizing networks for gender equality”, highlighting the importance of collaboration and networking in achieving gender equality in the maritime sector. The IMO-established Women in Maritime Associations are one example of such networks. They are paving the way in supporting women in maritime across the globe – and encouraging the next generation into the maritime industry,” Kitack Lim said.