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International Chamber of Shipping Seeking to Raise Awareness About Diversity and Inclusion in Maritime

Mike Schuler
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January 23, 2023

The International Chamber of Shipping has launched what it describes as a ground breaking diversity and inclusion toolkit for the maritime industry to aid businesses and organizations with best practice and guidance.

The Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit for Shipping, developed by the ICS with insight from a global expert group of industry leaders, provides resources and guidance to enable maritime businesses to introduce and embrace policies and engage a positive approach to D&I issues, with the ultimate goal of boosting business efficiency and improving performance.

The ICS says the toolkit is meant to foster greater awareness of diversity and inclusion and inspire change in strategies, policies and practices to support the maritime industry with addressing the needs of the diverse global community it employs both at sea and onshore.

“Effective implementation of D&I policies can help shipping companies to recruit from a larger pool of people, retain skilled staff for longer and motivate them more effectively, as well as help to improve relationships with customers and the wider world. A diverse workforce can be a company’s strongest asset,” said Guy Platten, Secretary General at ICS.

““The Toolkit deals with all the important issues and gives vital guidance,” added Sanjam Sitara of Sitara Shipping. Sitara founded the Women in International Shipping Trade Association (WISTA) in India and is on the board of WISTA International. She also works with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as a consultant. “We need to focus on the business case for diversity and we’re at the stage where everyone is talking about diversity but unless we do studies and prove there’s a business case for it, I don’t think we will see change. Pushing for more women leaders from all backgrounds is vital and will automatically accelerate the change.”

“This Toolkit will make a huge difference to both smaller businesses as well as larger organisations which plan to broaden their activities. Users will find it well designed as it’s a ready-made guide,” she added.

Karin Orsel, chair of the ICS Diversity Panel, contributor to the Toolkit and founder of MF Shipping said:

“We’re trying to do everything we can to ensure the people that work in our industry feel that they belong. It’s not enough to have the CEO thinking it’s important, you need the whole company to recognize its importance. I think it will take three to five years to see change and be a combination of companies recognizing they need to act but the timing of this book, the Toolkit, and all that ICS is trying to achieve is a perfect combination to get there.”

The ICS Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit for Shipping can be found here: https://publications.ics-shipping.org

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