Tomorrow is International Women’s Day and will be marked by companies exhibiting their commitment to women at sea
It is estimated that women only form 2% of the fleet-wide tanker crew while forming the majority of backroom shore-based staff in many shipmanagement companies. There is now a drive to encourage more women to go to sea.
In his new role of OSM Maritime, chief executive Bjørn Tore Larsen has outlined his vision for greater female participation in the maritime industry, particularly with regards to vessel crews and believes a healthier gender balance will help shipping in the quest for long-term success and commercial sustainability.
There is, Mr Larsen said ahead of International Women’s Day, much to be done to achieve that objective.
“There is a global shortage of qualified seafarers with the broad competency needed to help guide this industry on the optimal path forwards,” he commented. “We need to attract bright young people with the right skills, both practical and digital, to support an industry that remains at the vanguard of world trade. And women are absolutely central to that.
According to OSM, deck officer Vivian Maia (pictured above) provides a typical example of how females can forge successful careers within the industry.
Ms Maia joined OSM in 2011 after graduating from the Merchant Marine Officers School in Rio de Janeiro and spending two years as a deck officer with Maersk.
She then helped the, at the time, recently formed OSM Brazil set up operations in the country, recruiting, hiring and planning for crew members on the vessels Dan Swift and Deep Sea. Ms Maia is now responsible for crewing an FPSO managed by OSM in Brazil.
“It’s been an exciting and fulfilling journey,” she commented, “working both on- and offshore and helping to establish OSM in what is now a key market. I can’t recommend this industry enough for those that are ambitious, passionate and driven by achieving results and delivering excellent service. I’m proud of how my career has developed so far and excited about what lies ahead.”
The International Transport Workers Federation estimate that only 2% of crew in the world fleet are female, with 94% of those working on either cruise or passenger ships. OSM is targeting the ambitious goal of increasing its female crew ratio to 5% across its core sectors (tankers, bulkers and offshore).