Women are ‘the answer to the jobs crisis in shipping’, says Stena Line

Maritime & Ports

Source: Lloyd's Loading List, 2021-10-06

Women are the answer to the jobs crisis in shipping, according to Stena Line, with the Swedish ferry company calling for “diversity in a sector badly hit by Brexit and the pandemic.”

Stena Line highlighted that the shipping sector, like many other parts of the economy, has not been immune to the effects of Brexit and pandemic, noting: “This combined double whammy has led to a shortage of people needed to fill vacant roles and address the huge skills shortage in the sector. Stena Line believes that if the shipping industry is going to solve its jobs’ crisis, there is a simple solution; it urgently needs to encourage more women to work in careers at sea, in roles that are often still viewed as for men.”

With a shortage of skilled labour within the shipping industry there is currently fierce competition for talent, the shipping line noted. “Therefore, now more than ever it is vitally important that companies like Stena Line provide an attractive place for young seafarers to work and develop successful careers.”

In order to succeed at this, the Swedish ferry company said it was “hoping to build on its existing strong diversity drive to recruit more women, and crucially promote them to senior positions.” It has set itself a target of appointing 30% female managers by the end of 2022. In a sector where only 2% of the 1.2m seafarers are women “this is an ambitious target that lays down a gauntlet for other companies to try to achieve.”

Stena Line also announced on 6 October that in 2021 the company had appointed its first female Captain, as 33-year old Lynette Bryson became Master on the Stena Adventurer in the Irish Sea, where she also has a full female Bridge team of officers.

Speaking after her appearance at the ‘Women in Maritime Summit’, which was held as part of London International Shipping Week, Margaret Jensen Dickson, Group Head of People at Stena Line, said: “The shipping sector is in a jobs’ crisis and there is a shortage of people in every part of the industry. No matter whether the problem is caused by Brexit, or the Pandemic, there is simple solution and that is to encourage more women to work in shipping.  

“The people shortage is one of the biggest crises Stena Line has ever faced and we are throwing the kitchen sink at it. Onboard roles can no longer be seen as a male domain.  With the appointment of Lynette Bryson as our first female Captain we have shown that woman can and will succeed at sea and Stena Line will be here to support them.”

Stena Line is one of Europe's leading ferry companies with 37 vessels and 17 routes in Northern Europe. Stena Line is an important part of the European logistics network and develops new intermodal freight solutions by combining transport by rail, road and sea.

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