A GEM of an idea to attract more women seafarers

Nautilus member Sarah Stevens and Council member Jessica Tyson were at the GEM conference.

Nautilus members and officials have contributed to a debate on the initial findings of a global project to recruit and retain more women seafarers.

They attended panel discussions at a conference to present the preliminary results of the Gender Empowerment and Multicultural Crews (GEM) project to the shipping industry.

GEM is a major project led by the Southampton Solent University and other universities, and funded by the International Transport Workers’ Federation Seafarers’ Trust, to investigate the welfare needs of seafarers – particularly women – and is due to publish and report its recommendations later this year.

The initial findings highlight the need for seafarer trainees to be better prepared for their first trips to sea, the value in adopting mentoring programmes, and the need for better access to sea time.

In a panel discussion on recruitment and awareness of shipping, Nautilus member Sarah Stevens told the meeting that it is also important for the industry to provide some good female case studies to show how women can succeed in shipping. ‘There is a dearth of role models to show where I want to be in 10 years’ time,’ she commented.

Nautilus Council member Captain Jessica Tyson said it was encouraging to hear that the industry was now ‘more on the same page’, but urged positive follow-up action on the results of the research.

‘It is a good start, but from the UK point of view, it is the age-old thing that the maritime industry is still invisible. People don’t relate, because they don’t realise that nearly everything coming in to the country is coming by sea,’ she said. ‘We need to get the public to remember and be proud of an industry without which the world does not turn.’

Read more about the GEM findings in the August Telegraph.


Top Image: Nautilus member Sarah Stevens, left, and Council member Jessica Tyson were on one of the panels at the GEM conference. Credit — Paul Wyatts/PBWPIX. 

Monday, July 18, 2016