Women in Maritime Sector will create Huge Impact on Economy- Caleb Danlandi
Mr Caleb Danladi is a Maritime expert, Master Mariner, and a PhD Researcher. In this interview ,he speaks on encouraging women participation in the maritime sector and how the enormous potentials in the sector can drive Nigeria’s economy among other issues.
What is the significance of the world maritime day?
World Maritime day are celebrated throughout the world to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the environment, and also to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO’s work. Each year has its own theme which is reflected my International Maritime organization work throughout the year in question. The theme for this year is, “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.”
Are women carried along in the Maritime Sector especially in executive offices?
Shipping has historically been a male dominated Industry. We have over 1.2 million seafarers world wide and out of 1.2 million only 2 percent of the world’s maritime workforce is made up of women, creating a need for the shipping community to bridge this gender gap. Lots of efforts have been made to help the industry move from traditional and help women achieve a representation that is in line with twenty first century expectation. There are women in shipping related activities that are making great strides in the industry. A few number of women are seafarers, Maritime lawyers, ship owners and ship handlers. The number is very low when compare with other industries. Recently, there is a growing trend of women in executive offices for instance Nigeria Ports authority helms of affairs is in the hand of a woman and she has been performing extremely well.
What impact will it have on the Nigerian economy with women participation in the Maritime Sector?
Having women in positions of authority is crucial. Women participation in Maritime sector will have a huge impact on nations economy. First of all, is time to change the statistics of women in maritime work force. This will lead to economic development. Secondly, Labour force participation (ratio of female-male) will increase which will lead to increase in productivity. Thirdly , Nigeria will close a gap of gender index performance. Encouraging women to undertake seafaring and maritime related career is essential for reducing poverty and unemployment.
How can Women be empowered in the Maritime Community?
Women can be empowered in maritime community by removing structural barrier (traditional way of shipping), building good networks and support quality education to ensure no woman, no girl is left behind in maritime sector. Also creating a platform which I believe is already in existence primarily to see how professionals can interact with the younger ones to present and opportunity for them to consider aviation and shipping as they make their career plan and also to encourage them to build up their future in both aviation and shipping and to support them. Forums like aviation and maritime open days should be encouraged . There should be a need in changes in attitude towards employing women in both aviation and maritime sector in particular. Increased training opportunities for women should be encourage. Mentoring, coaching and counseling is important. organisations, unions and companies need to set the ground and provide/create a greater awareness to people generally and specifically the male seafarers towards acceptance of females onboard the ship.
What opportunities women have in the Maritime Community?
There are huge opportunities for women in maritime industry given that the maritime industry has a well documented skills gap . Opportunity for women exist in the following sectors, seafaring, maritime lawyers, maritime pilots, port agencies, ship owners, charterers, Marine consultants, Marine Surveyors, Maritime education and training among others. Looking at the latest statistics, where women represent only 2 percent of world seafarers, where 94 percent of them are in cruise industry. A lot of effort is required to make the industry move forward and support women to achieve a greater representation.
What is responsible for the apathy on side of women and your advise to improve the number female seafarers in Nigeria?
Historically, seafaring has been a male dominated industry. In the past years, the number of female seafarers has increased. Some of these reasons include lack of awareness and information. Institutions should have policies that will help women to have a better understanding of maritime career.
Another reason is social cultural and practical obstacle. Many women are not allowed to pursue seagoing career because of long stay. Finding a balance between demands of work and family has been a common issue. Staying away from family and friends for so long is not easy for women as well as men. Being on-board for several months might not satisfy the social role of a woman, making it not a very attractive field for women at sea. Findings reveals that lack of workshops and seminars, where young women exchange their views with experienced women seafarers and to help them develop a strong presence in maritime sector.
As a stakeholder in the Maritime community, what are the challenging investors and workers are faced with?
On the seafarers aspect, there are numerous challenges ranging from unavailability of berths for cadetship training/sea time for deck and engine crew. inconsistent shipping policies relating to training and recruitment of seafarers. Investors are faced with issues like inadequate infrastructure (Road network) which causes port congestion, multiple government agencies in ports that lead to inefficiency in the system. There is also security challenges. Infrastructure deficit is a greatest challenge, the road access to ports and lack of multimodal means of transportation (rail) and barges for transporting containers and cargoes among others.
What is your target in this sector and what do you aimed to achieve?
As a researcher, I intend to identify the causes of inefficiency in Nigerian seaport and proposed policies that will improve the productivity and efficiency of port. I am an advocate of women participation in Maritime sector, I will continue to raise awareness on the importance of female participation in maritime sector through mentorship, seminar and engagement with stakeholders/ship owners. I believe there is need to embrace gender diversity in shipping. My dream is to see a good number of female seafarers progressing to managerial roles and managing the helms of affairs.
What is your advise to Nigerians especially women that want to venture into the Maritime Sector?
My advice is for the federal government, Maritime community and stakeholders in Maritime sector is to support everything that would give women a role in Maritime sector. The theme for 2019 World Maritime day focus on women empowerment. This will provide an opportunity to raise awareness on the important of gender equality, in line with the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs) and to highlight the importance contribution of women to the maritime sector. I think strong female role models can help shift the maritime industry and make it a more viable career option for many women by sharing their experiences.