Merseyside takes key role in national Women in Maritime campaign

Industry body Mersey Maritime will be hosting the Northern launch of the Women in Maritime Charter on Thursday, September 13, at Liverpool Town Hall. Tony McDonough reports

Mersey Maritime
Mersey Maritime hosted a discussion on the Women in Maritime campaign


Executives from across Liverpool City Region’s £4bn maritime sector have met to discuss their role in a national campaign to increase the number of women working in the maritime sector.

At the Birkenhead headquarters of industry body Mersey Maritime, people from a diverse range of businesses including KVH, Liverpool Cruise Terminal and Taylor Marine took part in a lively discussion on the issues around the initiative, which has been launched by Maritime UK.

Charter launch

Mersey Maritime commercial manager Ruth Wood, who sits on the ‘Women in Maritime’ taskforce, delivered a presentation about the campaign and the September launch of the Women in Maritime Charter. The taskforce comprises both maritime industry leaders and high-level Government officials.

Businesses will be asked to sign up to the Charter and commit to driving greater diversity within their organisations – from the shop floor to the boardroom. 

Ruth told those assembled at the Birkenhead event: “The Women in Maritime initiative is about promoting equality and fairness across the maritime sector. The launch of the Charter is for businesses to pledge their support for creating positive change within their own organisations. Working with the taskforce, signatories will set out stretching targets with agreed timeframes to improve gender diversity that will be reported against regularly. 

Numbers game

A number of important points were raised including making sure that the campaign didn’t simply become a “numbers game” where firms would simply fill lower-skilled roles with women. Ruth explained that the charter would assess gender diversity across four key areas – recruitment, promotion, retention and the proportion of women in decision-making roles.

There was an agreement that the campaign needed to be a catalyst for deeper cultural change where diversity at all levels of a company or organisation was the norm. Further supported by the need to better promote the diverse range of career choices in the maritime sector, particularly amongst young people.

Charter launch

Mersey Maritime will be hosting the Northern launch of the Women in Maritime Charter on Thursday, September 13, at Liverpool Town Hall. The event marks a number of celebrations taking place across the country as part of Maritime UK Week.

The event is being sponsored by the Mayor of Liverpool, Merchant Navy Training Board and Complete Training Solutions and will provide businesses with the opportunity to find out more about the Women in Maritime initiative and the Charter.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from the Women in Maritime taskforce, businesses who have already signed the pledge and some inspirational female role models from the industry.

Speakers include:

  • Sue Terpilowski, Chair of the Women in Maritime Taskforce
  • Angie Redhead, Head of City Assets, Culture Liverpool
  • Kathryn Neilson, Director, Merchant Navy Training Board
  • Julia Bradley, Director of Sales and Marketing, Peel Ports Group

For further information on the event and to register to attend please click here. The event is accessible for both members and non-members of Mersey Maritime. 

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