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Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity are vital to help shape a better maritime world

IN MAY 2022, the All Aboard Alliance, under the leadership of the Global Maritime Forum, was launched to drive diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in maritime, to address the global shortage of talent in maritime and to meet the expectations of the industry’s stakeholders and drive innovation.

As a founding Alliance member and early adopter, BV has endorsed five important commitments by members:

• Appoint a business sponsor to lead and ensure accountability;
• Equip and educate colleagues to foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplaces;
• Create and maintain an organisational culture in which everyone has equal opportunities to contribute and thrive;
• Capture relevant data and develop insights to evaluate progress and evolve strategy;
• Communicate commitment and progress externally, annually.

At BV, leadership and accountability for DEI starts at the top.

Ultimate responsibility for BV’s commitments to the Alliance rests with Matthieu de Tugny, President of Marine & Offshore: “DEI is a key enabler for a more modern industry. We need a full range of talent, and that means different people, with different perspectives to achieve our vision for the future. BV is a diverse organisation, but not yet across the full breadth of our business.

For example, we must develop a better gender balance in operational and leadership roles. And we can all be more inclusive. Inclusivity is vital to changing how we think. Shipping can really change by being more inclusive — listening to and involving young people, for example.” 

Poor gender diversity in shipping today, particularly in engineering roles in a class society’s non-administrative workforce, is an industry-wide problem – and one that cannot be solved quickly or easily. Graduating classes of naval architecture or ship science schools have a small percentage of female students.

It is important to showcase all that maritime careers have to offer to young people, as well as what employers can offer candidates who place a premium on working for diverse and inclusive organisations.

Acting now

Bureau Veritas has a target to ensure that, by 2025, 30% of all employees and senior leaders in its Marine & Offshore division will be women. The industry also needs to look and feel different and be perceived as a sector of choice for the most talented for any role — not just for engineers.

One of the key work streams that BV will be involved in, as the All Aboard Alliance advances its work, is making shipping more attractive to new talent. “Individual companies are where so much has to start”, Mr de Tugny says, “but working together in the Alliance will give us all a framework, support and the resources to drive change. We have identified where we want to start, and timelines that will take us to 2030. We know what we want to achieve — ‘Maritime’ must attract and develop the talented people who can help us to shape a better world for the next generations. That means much more DEI.”

BV acknowledges that change may not be easy but says the initiative of the All Aboard Alliance is a significant step forward. The shipping industry is in an era of transformation, and the only prospect of making the changes that customers, colleagues and our society expect — and which our oceans and our planet need — is through innovation, creativity and leadership.

More diverse, inclusive organisations are more nimble, innovative, and creative. Acting now to give DEI the priority it deserves is vital for the maritime transformation we need.

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