The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has published its first publication on diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the maritime industry to aid businesses and organisations with best practice and guidance.
The ICS Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit for Shipping is now available to order and 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 improved performance.
The Toolkit has been developed by the ICS to create greater awareness of D&I 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. The content and development of the Toolkit has been curated and overseen by a global expert group of industry leaders.
Guy Platten, Secretary General at ICS said: “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.”
Sanjam Sitara of Sitara Shipping, who founded the Women in International Shipping Trade Association (WISTA) in India and is on the board of WISTA International said: “The Toolkit deals with all the important issues and gives vital guidance. 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.”
Sitara, who is also working with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as a consultant on various gender related projects and who contributed to the Toolkit continued: “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.”
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 recognise its importance. I think it will take three to five years to see change and be a combination of companies recognising 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 Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit for Shipping provides definitions and explanations of what diversity and inclusion are and provides ways to assess the current needs of diverse communities working within shipping to identify potential gaps in services, policies and practice; and provides best practice on how to fill these gaps. The guide can be used on shore and on board ships across a range of departments. It breaks down D&I concepts and delivers them holistically, function by function, to ensure that everyone in the company can benefit from its resources, learn something new and take practical steps in their role.