GECAMET – Gender Equality and Cultural Awareness in Maritime Education and Training

“Gender Equality and Cultural Awareness in Maritime Education and Training” (GECAMET) FY2017 IAMU Capacity building research project was a grant by the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) and the Nippon Foundation in Japan. The research had the aim to improve the understanding of human factors in the maritime sector, considering gender equality and cultural awareness issues met in the shipping industry. GECAMET had advanced the research in the domain of maritime human resources and gender in shipping. The study report presents an accurate overview on the shipping market, considering the role of the human resources and gender in the maritime sector. GECAMET study focuses on gender issues of seafarers among other maritime jobs in the maritime sector.

GECAMET was the largest research upon the number of International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) participating countries, funded in 2017-2018 by the IAMU and The Nippon Foundation. The trans-national dimension of the research came from the participation of 10 researchers from 9 countries and 5 continents (North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia). The complementary expertise team of researchers from maritime education and training institutions of Australia, Canada, Ghana, Norway, Philippines, Romania, South Korea, Spain and Vietnam have analyzed and proposed concrete measures for gender equal practice of maritime management of human resources. The research team have used their diverse experience in assessment of shipping companies, professional expertise regarding multicultural (mixed) business work environment in both on shore and off shore business, experience in intercultural coaching, training and consultancy, organizational anthropology, study of the cultural differences and scientific expertise on performance and multicultural vessels. Within GECAMET has been evaluated the economic efficiency of shipping companies with mixed crews, the effects of external requirements (coming from IMO, ILO, ITF, business environment and civil society) on ship management policies regarding modern human resource management and the role of maritime education and training institutions for improving gender equality and cultural awareness in the complex relation human factors- shipping business environment – ship management policies.

GECAMET results indicate that male-centred workplace culture and stereotypes influences women’s choice to join or leave the shipping sector. The number of women in maritime professions is increasing, yet shipping remains a male-dominated industry. Seafarers are affected by several labour issues and one of such issues is included under the large umbrella of gender stereotypes. Maritime companies would probably need to start social responsible campaigns first with their own employees, by removing gender barriers related to women seafarer employment and glass ceiling barriers after employment of female.

As solution for women seafarers’ awareness and empowerment, the GECAMET team underlines the necessity of promoting maritime women leaders, as role models for females that would like to join seafaring careers. Also, is proposed the concept of “Gendering shipping”which is a new emerging trend of benchmark in the maritime sector, based on visible good examples of social responsible attitude of solving the gender issues within the industry. In the case of companies which are benchmarking, the implementation of gender policies occurs before regulations might shift the voluntary approach in a mandatory one. Gendering shipping represents a supportive response of the seafaring industry, long expected, to the empowering necessities of female seafarers’ communities from the world shipping sector.

Keywords: Gendering shipping, benchmark, Maritime Labour Convention, role model, leadership

GECAMET research results:

GECAMET Final Research IAMU Report