On board with gender equality
Shipping has historically been a male-dominated industry; however, both the IMO and ILO have made great efforts to promote women’s employment in the maritime transportation sector. This year, they have chosen the topic “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community”.
Today, women form around 40 per cent of the global workforce. Women seafarers however, consist of only two per cent of the total number of seafarers worldwide, creating a need for the shipping industry to bridge this gender gap.
Providing a level playing field
Although there has been a slow increase in the number of female seafarers worldwide, there are many countries still plagued by an old-fashioned approach from shipowners, who prefer to have “male seafarers in supervisory, managerial or officer roles.”
Dante Elpedes, Head of Höegh Fleet Services Philippines (HFSP) says,
HFSP remains one of the companies in the Philippines which accommodates female seafarers. We promote gender equality and sensitivity, by providing a level playing field when hiring seafarers, which is based on competence and not gender.
In HFSP, women seafarers make up three per cent of the total seafarer pool which is above the global two per cent average.
Prejudice and abuse
Another hindrance for women pursuing a career at sea, is the belief that they might have to deal with sexual harassment, abuse or bullying. In Höegh Autoliners we have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination and consider any form of harassment and bullying a very serious issue.
Dante says, "For all new seafarers joining our vessels for the first time, we conduct a special brieﬁng during the pre-departure meeting, to outline our zero tolerance on harassment. Everyone is also reminded about our stance on this matter at succeeding briefings. The company also treats all complaints of harassment and bullying seriously and in strict conﬁdence.”
An industry facing change
Ongoing campaigns from organisations such as the ILO and IMO are instrumental in bringing about progress. The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) also works specifically to help women achieve management level roles in the maritime industry. Today, the networking organisation has over 3,000 individual members from 40 countries.
Strong role models
To encourage more women to join the industry, it is also imperative that they have good role models to change the status quo and inspire new generations of young professionals to join the ranks. One such individual is Höegh’s first female Filipino Chief Officer; Monalisa Alejandrino, who is inspiring other women to believe in themselves and pursue their dream of becoming a seafarer.
12 July 2019
Höegh Trapper returns to Mackay
On 9 July, 2019 Höegh Trapper returned to the port of Mackay on its Europe to USA, Mexico and Oceania service. To commemorate the occasion representatives from North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation, traditional owners and council members from Mackay as well as customers and service providers were invited to tour the vessel.
25 April 2023
Höegh Autoliners appoints Gyrid Skalleberg Ingerø as new Board Member
28 March 2023
Höegh Autoliners joins Maritime Cleantech to accelerate the move to zero
The ambitious shipowner wants their new Ro-Ro vessels to become emission-free as soon as possible. The first of eight newbuilds will hit the waters next year.
09 December 2022
Working together against corruption
Corruption is a widespread challenge for companies involved in world trade. It weakens democratic institutions, reduces economic development, and contributes to governmental instability.