International Women’s Day has been a focal point for the women’s rights movement since the celebration’s inception in 1911, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
This year, the campaign theme for International Women’s day is #BalanceforBetter. Gender balance is an essential component in the success of economies and communities.
“Balance is not a women's issue, it's a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage...”
Women’s day is particularly important to Pole Star as a company within an industry that exhibits a dramatic gender imbalance.
The maritime industry has long been viewed as a male-dominated industry. Of the estimated 1.25 million seafarers globally, less than 2% are women, and only around 30% of global shore-based maritime roles are filled by women. With limited female representation, the entire maritime industry system was built around male employees, limiting access to leadership roles and educational opportunities, and making work-life balance particularly difficult for women in maritime.
Now, change is on the rise.
Just over 30 years ago, the IMO launched the Women in Maritime programme, putting in place an institutional framework to incorporate a gender dimension into the IMO’s policies and procedures.
Today, the IMO is featuring the theme “Empowering Women in the Maritime Industry” for World Maritime Day 2019, and more locally, Maritime UK recently created a Women in Maritime Pledge and Charter.
A few months ago, we signed the Women in Maritime Pledge. In doing so, we wanted to make clear our support for creating positive change within our organisation, and collectively, across the UK maritime sector. As a signatory, we are committed to building an employment culture that actively supports and celebrates gender diversity, at all levels, throughout our organisation, and our industry."
Pole Star is proud to be a signatory of the Women in Maritime Pledge, encouraging the creation of a workforce who not only believe in, but actively fight for gender equality both while at Pole Star and long after they leave.
To celebrate today, we surprised our London office with custom-made IWD t-shirts this morning.
“We hope this small gesture serves as a reminder of the importance of equality and fairness both within this office and outside of these walls." Julian Longson, Managing Director.
Happy International Women’s Day to all!