Seafaring, as a traditionally male-dominated industry, continues to have very few female seafarers, with approximately 2% globally being women. This paper draws on the findings of a study that considered both the experiences of women seafarers working in the UK shipping industry and the views of key industry stakeholder representatives, and asks what must be done to improve those experiences? Responses across the industry suggest that all women seafarers will experience some form of harassment during their careers, which has significant implications for their occupational health, safety and wellbeing. These experiences reflect failures of leadership in developing and promoting a safe and inclusive onboard culture. This paper calls for fundamental change within the industry, including improvements in training and leadership to reflect modern seafaring and diversity on board. It also calls for relevant policy and strategic changes to be based on the views of seafarers and their representatives. It concludes that improving the experiences of women on board will improve the occupational health, safety and wellbeing of all seafarers, regardless of gender or any other characteristic or classification.
Pike, K., Wadsworth, E., Honebon, S., Broadhurst, E., Zhao, M., & Zhang, P. (2021). Gender in the maritime space: How can the experiences of women seafarers working in the UK shipping industry be improved? Journal of Navigation, 74(6), 1238–1251. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0373463321000473
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