Embracing equity: what does it mean for maritime?
What does embracing equity mean in the maritime industry? Clare Pike, VP Human Resources & CSR, speaks on the necessity of improving diversity and inclusion.
“Embrace Equity,” the theme of International Women’s Day (IWD) 2023, is a powerful statement.
Over my career in human resources I’ve seen decades of improvement in equality and equity legislation. However, many areas still need attention. The IWD theme is a reminder to recognize the inequalities built into our world. And, for me, this is the first vital step in understanding where inequities lie so that we can address them, particularly for underrepresented groups.
The focus on equity is important – it’s about removing obstacles for all, not penalizing anybody. The world is changing fast, and we can’t afford to miss a single opportunity – this means helping every individual to reach their full potential. Equity is about empowering individuals for the collective good.
Leaving our mark
I see a connection here with Bureau Veritas’ campaign “Leave your mark,” which is a testament to our belief that working at BV empowers people to make society better. It can be applied to different scenarios to really show where and how we shape a better maritime world. And no matter what your lens is, we can all leave our mark.
Last year we joined the All Aboard Alliance (AAA) as a founding member to develop guidance, tools and good practices to help promote, challenge and enable diversity in the maritime sector. Part of our work with the AAA includes building interest in diversity and explaining how a broad spectrum of views can be beneficial. It’s already exciting to see how the conversation is developing.
We operate in an industry with an extremely rich heritage and a history of innovation. The maritime sector will need to compete and attract the profiles it needs, and help grow and evolve the people it has. It’s a challenge, but it also makes our industry an exciting place to be.
Adapting our heritage to a new age
How do we attract a more diverse portfolio of skills – that’s the million-dollar question! We have to accept that most people’s perception of the maritime industry is probably quite limited, so our job is to demonstrate who we are and how we do things.
Ultimately, we need a continuous pipeline of people interested and motivated to work in the sector. This is where being open to different profiles can really help us. Firstly, it will make us more attractive to different people, which helps to strengthen the pipeline of talent. Secondly, it will improve how the industry operates overall. Different ways of thinking, and different skillsets to seeking solutions can make problem solving more robust and creative.
Our role in shaping a better maritime world for all
At Bureau Veritas we all have a role to play toward shaping a better maritime world as a whole. It starts with understanding what diversity and inclusion means at work and how to live it in our day to day. From this bedrock of understanding, we can challenge traditional norms and empower individuals.
A great example of work being done here is our Women in Production network, which tackles the challenges and shares the successes of women entering roles for the first time in the IMEA region.
We are learning and discovering more about ourselves and our work every day. When we all make the effort, we can shine as a cultural beacon of openness and inclusivity. With our commitment to keep improving who we are, we can shape a bright future for the maritime industry.