Global harbour towage operator Svitzer is taking steps to become more diverse and inclusive. At present, only about 50 out of Svitzer’s more than 3500 seafarers are female and in Svitzer’s Asia Pacific Middle East Africa (AMEA) region, no female seafarers were employed at the beginning of 2022. To change that, the AMEA leadership team decided to take steps to create a more diverse workforce and inclusive workplace by including establishing a new female training program in Egypt.
Nicolai Vinther Friis, Managing Director, Svitzer AMEA, explains: “As the world’s leading towage provider and a responsible employer, we have an obligation and a responsibility to promote diversity and inclusion and to support equal opportunities for all. Shipping has historically been a male dominated industry and we therefore need to think differently and take special actions to create a new tradition, where female seafarers are a natural part of our workforce.”
When deciding to improve training opportunities for females by establishing a dedicated training academy, Egypt was chosen as a pilot because of its size and maritime tradition. The company says it quickly became clear that the demand for training opportunities was high among females. From the initial recruitment drive, 49 applications were received, 23 were shortlisted for further interviews and one female crew members were selected to begin their training, which has now underway.