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Friday, March 8, 2019 

Maritime UK, the voice of the maritime sector, and its Women in Maritime Taskforce will be celebrating International Women’s Day (8th March) with a reception at Belfast Harbour to mark the launch of two new resources aimed at promoting gender diversity within the maritime sector.

The reception will provide an opportunity for Northern Ireland companies to sign up to the Women in Maritime Pledge, which states: “We are committed to building an employment culture that actively supports and celebrates gender diversity, at all levels, throughout our organisation and our industry.” Since launching, over 100 companies have signed the pledge.

The two new resources have been created to respond to specific challenges companies have raised in their mission to improve diversity. Namely, too few women speakers at industry conferences and a lack of gender diversity in new recruits.  

The first resource is a ‘Speaker Bank’ comprising women speakers. The initiative will provide a database of women speakers for panels and conferences. The second resource will be an “Interview Pool”, which will loan maritime women to companies that may lack diversity on interview panels. Research by the Taskforce identified that more diverse interview panels or panels with HR professionals with diversity training are more likely to recruit a diverse workforce.

Sue Terpilowski OBE, Chair of the Taskforce, said: “By taking this proactive approach of helping organisers to find speakers through our pool we believe we are solving a problem. We knew there were qualified and experienced women within the industry who would enhance any panel, finding them was the issue. So now, there should be no excuses not to have gender balanced panels.”

Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani (pictured), said: “I want to see more women enjoy a career at sea or on shore. Recruitment can often be the first point candidates encounter the maritime sector, and it is vital our ambition for greater diversity is reflected at this stage.”

Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK said: “I am delighted that the Taskforce is producing such tangible results. Diversity is incredibly important to our sector.”

Nicky Goldsbrough, Director of Corporate Services at Shoreham Port, who has led work on the interview pool, said: “Collaboration has been key to the success of the Taskforce so far and the Interview Pool builds on this through broadening the networks of women in maritime, sharing skills and enabling gender balanced interview pools to be created, all of which is pivotal for attracting more women into the sector.”    

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