News: Maritime UK welcomes Stena Line as the second Diversity in Maritime sponsor

By: Chrissie Clarke

Head of Diversity and Operations/Secretary to Maritime Skills Commission

DiM Sponsors

Maritime UK, the umbrella body for the maritime sector, is delighted to announce Swedish ferry company Stena Line as the second industry sponsor of the Diversity in Maritime Programme.

The Diversity in Maritime Programme was launched in May 2020 in response to the Department for Transport’s flagship Maritime 2050 strategy which stated “The maritime workforce of the future will be diverse. New roles, new technologies and a changing image of the sector will draw in people from all backgrounds across the entire UK.”

The Diversity in Maritime programme includes:

  • Networks: Four current networks covering Women, Mental Health, Pride and Ethnicity which bring together individuals from protected characteristics, and allies, from across the maritime sector in a safe-space environment to share best practice and discuss barriers faced. The networks are supported by four working groups tasked with developing solutions to identified barriers.
  • Diversity in Maritime Pledges and Charter: The Diversity in Maritime Pledges are public commitments – with headline progress reporting - made by senior leaders from across the sector to ensure that maritime is inclusive, diverse, and welcoming. The pledges act as the first step towards becoming a Diversity in Maritime Charter organisation. The Charter is a robust agreement between signatories and Maritime UK with formal reporting processes to monitor performance.
  • Online Toolkit: a continuously updated platform with best practice guides and policies to support companies as they work toward a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

A range of initiatives including:

  • Interview Pool: which loans maritime women to companies that may lack diversity on interview panels. Research by the Women in Maritime Network identified all that more diverse interview panels or panels with HR professionals with diversity are more likely to recruit a diverse workforce. However, several smaller companies highlighted that they do not have access to such recruiters within their staff. The interview pool provides a facility for these companies to access relevant skills and expertise
  • Speaker Bank: provides a database of diverse speakers for panels and conferences with specific industry expertise to respond to the claim that too few expert speakers exist within under-represented sections of society.
  • Book Club: a series of informal and intimate online meet-ups that give its members an opportunity to read, listen and discuss books that broaden the knowledge and understanding of race and the impact of racism.
  • Mental Health in Maritime Survey: a benchmark survey launched on World Mental Health Day to understand mental health and wellbeing provisions across the UK maritime industry.
  • Webinars and events: a series of webinars and events on themes including Mental Health and Wellbeing, Menopause, Industry Roundtables, Lunch and Learns, Unconscious bias awareness and more.

Having received seed funding from the Department for Transport to establish the programme, Maritime UK is now seeking support from companies committed to creating a more inclusive and diverse maritime sector. A series of sponsorship packages are being offered and can be found here.

Ben Murray, Chief Executive Maritime UK said:

“Maritime UK is delighted to welcome Stena aboard as sponsor of the Diversity in Maritime Programme. We know that the programme, its networks, and initiatives are incredibly well-regarded by colleagues across the sector, and diversity is on the agenda for an increasing number of companies. But there is a clearly a significant amount still to do, and I’m certain that by working together this sector will make progress. Stena’s support is matched by their own commitment to diversity, and we are excited about the work we will do together.”

Debbie Cavaldoro, Co-Chair of the Diversity in Maritime Taskforce and Chief Executive, Port Skills and Safety said: 

“Diversity in Maritime is opening up the conversation around diversity in all aspects of the industry and we are starting to see real change taking place.

“However, there is so much more that can and needs to be done and thanks to the support of companies including Stena Line we are going to be able to ensure that we keep driving the message home that a diverse and inclusive maritime industry is better for everyone.”

Margareta Jensen Dickson, Group Head of People at Stena Line, said:  

“Our ambition is to not only become the most sustainable shipping company but also the most diverse. This means that we not only set ambitious targets to lead the transformation towards emission-free shipping but also ensure that we are at forefront of change towards more equality and diversity. Women now account for 20% of all our managers, but we want to go further and achieve 30% by the end of next year.  Maritime UK does a great job with its Diversity in Maritime programme and by continuing to work with them we hope to achieve our goals and contribute by supporting the important work they are doing.”