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Denmark: New Initiative Launched to Get More Women on Board

Denmark has presented a new initiative aimed at increasing the share of women in Danish shipping companies.

Today, the first fourteen shipping companies will sign a charter that obliges them to actively focus on gender equality, Danish Shipping, a trade and employer organization for more than 90 shipowners and offshore companies, said.

As informed, the distribution of workers employed in Danish shipping companies is just under 20,000 men versus just over 3,000 women.

“That is an uneven distribution that needs to be changed,” according to Danish Shipping, which has initiated the charter.

“We have a major challenge in recruiting labour to the Blue Denmark. Right now, we are simply missing out on half the talent pool unless we can attract more women,” Anne H. Steffensen, Danish Shipping’s Director General and CEO, commented.

“We are trying to address this and will make an effort to get more women on board together with the shipping companies. I am pleased with the great support for the initiative and for the fact that the Minister for Equal Opportunities, Mogens Jensen is leading the way today.”

Specifically, the new charter obliges the shipping companies among other things to devise a strategy or plan to increase the proportion of women in the company and describe and put forward initiatives to support it. The companies are also required to develop and set targets for the proportion of women in the company and appoint a member of top management to be responsible for the action.

“The shipping companies themselves choose how they will organise the action. They run very different businesses and their starting points are different. Therefore, we will not try to push them to reach one specific goal,” Danish Shipping’s CEO explained.

“But we have a goal as to the number of shipping companies joining the charter. When we enter 2021, 75 percent of the shipping companies, which represent 75 percent of the employees, should have signed.”

Gender equality in the maritime industry has become a prominent theme over the past months. In 2019, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), together with the World Maritime University (WMU), was raising awareness of the importance of gender equality with the “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” theme. A series of events were held to highlight the contribution of women to the maritime sector.


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