Industry celebrates International Day for Women in Maritime

Global maritime training provider Stream Marine Training (SMT) and UK Officer Cadet Management company (SMC) have demonstrated a commitment to support and celebrate gender diversity by signing Maritime UK’s ‘Women in Maritime Pledge’, as the sector comes together for the International Day for Women in Maritime this week.

The UK-based company, which holds its head office at Glasgow Airport, has this month pledged its support to Maritime UK’s Women in Maritime initiative, promoting equality and diversity throughout shipping and at all levels.  

Martin White, CEO of Stream Marine Training Group, said: “As a company that promotes equality and diversity among our employees, we are delighted to have been approved by Maritime UK as a proud supporter of its Women in Maritime Pledge.

“The industry has come a long way in the last decade in recognizing the vital role women have to play. There are some fantastic female leaders in the sector who also act as inspirational role models for younger women interested in pursuing a career in shipping. 

“SMT has always been passionate about employing the right person for the job, whatever their gender is, so we are pleased to take this next step in helping to bring more positive change to the industry.”

SMT demonstrates this with an equal split of gender in various roles, including five female ex-seafarers and women who have come from marketing, legal, HR and financial sectors. Their transferable skills are an asset to maritime. SMC also actively promotes Merchant Navy Officer Cadetships to potential female cadets, with two currently in training.

Kellie McKechnie works as the Training Manager for SMC looking after all the cadets on behalf of client shipping companies and the Cadet Training Team. She started working at sea during her late teens and believes working in such an environment has formed the person she is today.

She said: “When you sail at a young age it makes you very self-reliant and you learn a lot of practical skills from an all-male crew.”

Samantha McCormick, is an Operations Manager for SMT, managing course instructors and ensuring the training courses are regulation compliant. Samantha enjoyed a lengthy 10-year career at sea as a Deck Officer, before coming ashore.

Reflecting on how times have changed over the last years, Ms McCormick said: “There’s definitely more women choosing this career now and going to sea. This has helped shape the industry. One example of this was when I first went to sea there were no female boilersuits and the boilersuits we were given never fitted properly. But by the time I was leaving they had the option to have a female boilersuit which is a massive step, and this has now been approved by Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).”

Katy Womersley, Group Operations Director at SMT, who worked as a Deck Officer, said: “Here at Stream Marine we have a good number of females in managerial positions, we are also proud that half of our senior executive team are women.

“This definitely helps to attract more females to the industry. We are also involved in various science, technology, engineering and mathematics projects and primary school initiatives to introduce girls and all children from a variety of backgrounds to maritime. Gender diversity is one step towards a fully diverse workforce.”

Photo credit: iStock/ GarrettL

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