Today is IMO International Day for Women in Maritime – and the focus of the UN body is on “Training-Visibility-Recognition: Supporting a barrier-free working environment”
by Steven Jones, Propeller Club Liverpool
There is so much to be done to remove barriers, or even to ensure that talented women in the industry can climb over or smash through them. But on this #WomenInMaritimeDay we want to celebrate those who have been doing that, who have shaped fantastic careers, who lead the industry inspire and encourage others.
That is not to diminish or pretend the challenge is not there – but to show that women are making their way through the industry, women who make a difference to the way we all work, and who stand testament to the incredible careers on offer in our industry.
Propeller Club Liverpool simply would not exist were it not for a number of maritime women. From Anneley Pickles starting the whole ball rolling with her First Thursday networking, to Sue Henney and her amazing sleeves-rolled-up approach to getting things done. We are also so lucky to have Holly Bibby, Kate Birmingham, Anna Kaparaki and Lin Cotton as our Ambassadors.
They all work tirelessly, and enthusiastically to advance our organisation. It is their contacts, knowledge, skills and dedication which are the foundations upon so much of what we do rests.
More than this formally engaged group, we have an ever-growing membership of women in maritime. From students at Liverpool John Moores University, under the fantastic and inspiring leadership of Dr Robyn Pyne. We also have women who are making their way in the industry – with Stone Marine Shipcare leading the way, and we thank all of their wonderful female team for coming along and supporting what we do.
In his message for the inaugural IMO International Day for Women in Maritime, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, highlights the relevance of gender equality. “At IMO through training, visibility, recognition we aim to support a barrier-free working environment for Women in Maritime. Let’s work to break down barriers and ensure that we create a work environment that is enabling, supportive and inclusive of diverse participation by all, without hindrance in the maritime community,” he said.
These are fine, noble words, but the barriers are broken down by us all working together, getting to understand what women in maritime bring, the benefits and advantages which come to us all in a diverse workforce. It also takes men in maritime to help, to support, to encourage and to make the right environment.
We work hard in Propeller Club Liverpool to make our events and engagement reflective not just of the industry we see, but of how we want to see it. So thank you to every woman in maritime who has joined in, who has brought others, and who gives us a chance to break down barriers, to provide visibility, recognition and to make the maritime industry what is should be, a place for good people – irrespective of anything else.