Thursday, March 7, 2019

Boss of Major Global Ship Management Outfit Determined to Address the Gender Imbalance  

Maritime Industry Suffers from Staff Problems Along with the Whole Logistics Sector

backlink: back
email
printlink: print this news article
news archivelink: news archive
Shipping News Feature NORWAY – WORLDWIDE – In his first week in the new role of OSM Maritime CEO, Bjørn Tore Larsen has outlined his vision for greater female participation in the maritime industry, particularly with regards to vessel crews. Larsen, the founder and Chairman of the global ship management company, believes a healthier gender balance will help shipping in the quest for long-term success and commercial sustainability.

OSM manages a fleet of over 500 vessels, with approximately 30 office locations and some 11,000 seafarers. As a member of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) the company claims that it is focused on supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including that of Gender Equality (SDG 5). Speaking ahead of this week’s International Women’s Day, Larson says that there is much to be done to achieve that objective, continuing:

“There is a global shortage of qualified seafarers with the broad competency needed to help guide this industry on the optimal path forwards. We need to attract bright young people with the right skills, both practical and digital, to support an industry that remains at the vanguard of world trade. And women are absolutely central to that.

“A diverse workforce is a strong workforce - offering a range of experiences, perspectives and talents, so the lack of female crew is an issue the industry needs to address. That spans from the recruitment process (being open to and actively encouraging female applications), through to company cultures, and the conditions and attitudes on board. At OSM we’re working to attract new female colleagues and celebrate the success of the ones we already have. I’d encourage the rest of the industry to do the same.”

According to estimates from the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), only 2% of crew in the world fleet are female, with 94% of those working on either cruise or passenger ships. This in a broader logistics industry suffering chronic staff shortages and a gender imbalance. OSM says that it is targeting the ambitious goal of increasing its female crew ratio to 5% across its core sectors (tankers, bulkers and offshore). The firm already has a majority of 62% of its office positions filled by female staff. Larson commented:

“This isn’t just a question of doing right by society, but also one of providing both the best working environment for our colleagues and optimal services to our growing client base. Balanced workforces offer strength in depth and, as has been proven over the years, instil better morale and job satisfaction. In short, increased female participation in maritime is a clear ‘win-win’!”

The OSM CEO believes Vivian Maia provides a typical example of how females can forge successful careers within the industry. Maia joined OSM in 2011 after graduating from the Merchant Marine Officers School in Rio de Janeiro and spending two years as a Deck Officer with Maersk. She then helped the, at the time, recently formed OSM Brazil set up operations in the country, recruiting, hiring and planning for crew members on the vessels Dan Swift and Deep Sea. Maia is now responsible for crewing an FPSO managed by OSM in Brazil. Maia said:

“It’s been an exciting and fulfilling journey working both on- and offshore and helping to establish OSM in what is now a key market. I can’t recommend this industry enough for those that are ambitious, passionate and driven by achieving results and delivering excellent service. I’m proud of how my career has developed so far and excited about what lies ahead.”

OSM will now be looking to raise awareness of opportunities for female crew in the run up to, and following, the IMO World Maritime Day on 26 September. The theme for the day is ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’.

Photo: Vivian Maia

Bookmark and Share

keep up to date with the
latest shipping news...
check out the latest
industry events

Pentalver - Advertise with Handy Shipping Guide

Port of Amsterdam - Advertise with Handy Shipping Guide

DPWorld - Advertise with Handy Shipping Guide

BIFA - Advertise with Handy Shipping Guide