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Women need training to survive in maritime sector - Jamaicans tell international conference

Published:Tuesday | June 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Professor Densil Williams (left) presents Leslie Baugh, sales executive, Seafreight Jamaica, with the Jamaica Exporters' Association (JEA) award for increase in export sales. Seafreight Jamaica is the first shipping company to be inducted into the JEA US$10m club. The award was presented on June 2 during JEA's Shipping and Logistics Expo held at the Knutsford Court Hotel. - contributed

Women have a significant role to play in the development of the maritime sector in the Caribbean region, but in order to survive and thrive, they need access to professional training and education systems backed by internationally recognised and enforced employment standards.

This was the message two leading Caribbean shipping industry executives delivered to the 'Maritime Women: Global Leadership second International Conference' held by the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmo, Sweden, earlier this year.

Claudia Grant, deputy director general of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, and Vivette Grant, deputy executive director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute, outlined the findings of a survey which examined the existence of gender bias in the maritime sector and its effects on the employment, promotion, career mobility and pay inequality of women.

More than 50 per cent of the women taking part in the survey, which was conducted among women who have risen to senior leadership positions in various sectors of the Caribbean maritime industry, indicated they had experienced gender bias in their career, with many saying it had affected their pay levels or career mobility.

Empowering women

The two Jamaican speakers told delegates that the Caribbean countries' governments have recognised the importance of the empowerment of women as being an essential tool in reducing poverty levels in the region. Access to education and training are key to this empowerment and the study highlighted the benefits of the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) Women in Development (WID) programme, which has provided Caribbean women with access to the skills necessary to equip them to enter the specialised and male-dominated maritime industry.

They advised the conference that 89 per cent of beneficiaries of the IMO WID programme are now employed in senior management positions within the maritime sector, but warned: "The job is not yet complete". They called for ongoing training and education opportunities to enable professional women to improve their qualifications, update their industry knowledge, and "survive in this sector".

International code

They also recommended establishment of an international code and minimum standards for the employment and empowerment of women in the maritime sector, backed by "appropriate control actions to ensure compliance". In addition, they championed the instigation of a professional association for maritime women to enable greater information sharing, networking, support and mentoring.

Claudia Grant said: "Women have an important contribution to make to the global economy and within the international maritime sector, and we must ensure that we create the right global framework to recruit, train and retain excellent female employees in the global shipping industry."

The WMU conference considered how gender differences and unfair practices in professional maritime employment can be addressed by all the stakeholders, at international and national levels, working to promote employment opportunities and to strengthen women's roles once they are recruited. The conference also showcased the global achievements of the women alumni of WMU across the entire spectrum of maritime activity. Both Claudia Grant and Vivette Grant are graduates of WMU.

Schedule

Kingston: June 17-23

AGENT/VESSEL ARRIVAL

CARIB STAR

Pagola 17/06CFS Panavera 17/06Repulse Bay 17/06Palmira 18/06CFS Palencia 18/06Zim Moskva 18/06Juliette Rickmers 18/06Hyundai Goodwill 20/06Stadt Rotenburg 20/06Vega Saturn 21/06Woge 21/06Zim Qingdao 22/06Quilia 22/06Zim New York 22/06Zim San Francisco 23/06MSC Erminia 23/06

CMA CGM JAMAICA

CFS Pacora 17/06CFS Pagola 17/06Seaboard Sun 18/06Hamburg Trader 18/06CFS Palamedes 18/06Palmira 18/06CFS Palencia 18/06Theodor Storm 20/06E.R. Calais 20/06Vega Beta 20/06Hammonia Pomerenia 21/06Ulf Ritscher 21/06CSCL Melbourne 22/06MSC Vanessa 22/06Red Spirit 23/06Conrad S 23/06

GATEWAY SHIPPING

Vega Beta 20/06E.R. Calais 20/06

AGENT/VESSEL ARRIVAL

Hammonia Pomerenia 21/06Ulf Ritscher 21/06CSCL Melbourne 22/06

JAMAICA FREIGHT & SHIPPING

Seaboard Sun 18/06Vega Nikolas 18/06Fouma 18/06ER Calais 19/06Seaboard Ranger 19/06Seaboard Sun 21/06Hammonia Pomerenia 21/06Zim New York 22/06Vliet Trader 22/06Amstel Trader 22/06CSCL Melbourne 22/06

LANNAMAN & MORRIS

CFS Pafilia 20/06Vega Saturn 20/06

MARITIME AND TRANSPORT

Ioulia 20/06

SEABOARD JAMAICA

Seaboard Sun 18/06Vega Nikolas 18/06Seaboard Ranger 20/06Vliet Trader 22/06Amstel Trader22/06

SEAFREIGHT JAMAICA LIMITED

Repulse Bay 17/06Stadt Rotenburg 20/06Vega Saturn 20/06Ioulia 20/06Vega Sachsen 20/06Repulse Bay 22/06