Maritime Industry: Expert Advocates For Women Participation ,Empowerment
Ahead of the 2019 World International Maritime Day , the Founder of Caleb Foundation and Maritime Industry expert ,Captain Caleb Danladi Bako has embarked on an advocacy programme to encourage and empower women interested in Maritime Industry jobs .
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) will provide an opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of gender equality at this year’s World Maritime Day with the “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” theme.
In line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the theme would also highlight the important, yet under-utilized, contribution of women within the maritime sector.
In a chat with Daily Newstime ,Mr Caleb Danladi Bako disclosed his opinion on the Maritime industry being a historically male dominated industry.
He noted that there are over 1.2 million Seafarers world wide who make the world trade possible. The seafarers duties of transporting goods and providing other services in the shipping trade are very essential to the livelihoods of people all over the globe. The inclusion of more women in the Maritime Industry will only further bolster a nation as a great service economy.
According to Mr. Bako, embarking on this advocacy programme is part of his contribution to the International Day of the Seafarer on June 25, 2019. Since 2010, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) annually recognizes June 25 as the day to give thanks to seafarers for their sacrifices and tireless contributions to sea transport.
Mr. Bako states that, “This day recognizes the unique role of Seafarers in the global economy. Seafarers are always on the forefront of maritime transportation. We have over 1.2 million seafarers world wide who make the world trade possible. Our daily lives are directly and indirectly dependant on sea transport and the great service of seafarers. The world economy is wholly dependant on the work of seafarers as they sail across the globe, transporting the goods needed for mankind’s existence.
Mr. Bako adds, “The theme for this year’s International Day of the Seafarer is “I am onboard with gender equality.” This theme is a deliberate message for 2019, as the United Nation’s World Maritime Day has a similar theme, “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.” These unanimous themes show a push for more inclusivity and opportunities for women throughout the Maritime Industry.”
Mr. Bako acknowledged that the shipping industry has historically been a male dominated industry, but also observed the rising tide of change as countries, including Nigeria, try to address this gender gap.
He further said, “A lot of effort has been made to help the industry move from traditional practices, by helping women achieve a representation that is in line with twenty first century expectations.
“The industry needs more women, particularly in leadership roles.
In Nigeria women have been making waves in the industry. There are women in shipping related activities that are making great strides in the industry. A number of women are Seafarers, Maritime lawyers, ship owners and ship chandlers.
“Aviation Industry, like Maritime Industry, was formerly male dominated, but over the past few years we had seen some changes in the sector with females in different positions.
” I am not an aviation expert to comment on gender equality in the aviation industry, however, I will say both industries continue to make great strides as women excel in various positions and fields,” He noted.
Moving forward, he advocates for the encouragement of more female participation by creating more platforms where professionals can interact with women and the youth, thereby providing mentorship and support for many as they decide on a vast array of careers. “The platforms serve as a lighthouse, beaming and guiding great talent into the Maritime Industry. In addition, forums like maritime open days should be encouraged. There should be a constant push for changes in attitude towards employing women in the maritime sector. Increased training opportunities for women should be encouraged.”
“Mentoring, coaching and counseling are very important methods to utilize as they aid in increased awareness, dialogue and access to information. Institutions should have policies that help women to have a better understanding of maritime careers.
“In addition, all obstacles should be tackled. For example, social, cultural and traditional practices have been a deterrent for women willing to take up careers historically dominated by men. Many women have stayed away from seafaring careers because of the long stays on ships. Finding a balance between demands of work and family has been a common issue. Being on-board for several months might not satisfy the societal role of a woman, making it an unattractive choice in family decision making. That is why seminars encouraging dialogue and shared information will help to change perceptions. Findings reveal a great need for workshops and seminars where young women exchange their views with experienced women seafarers. These will help women develop a strong presence in the maritime sector.”
In conclusion, Mr. Bako states, “Seafaring is conventionally a man’s job and many women fear to take it up as a profession. However, I believe fear is nothing but a product of our imagination. If you believe in yourself and if you have a strong determination, trust me, nothing is unachievable”