Nautilus head of international relations Danny McGowan chaired a highly engaged turn-out of maritime professionals for the second 2023 Pride in Maritime Network roundtable organised by Maritime UK.
The hybrid meeting, held during UK Pride month, heard from attendees on how equality, diversity and inclusion policies are being implemented in various ways throughout the industry across unions, maritime associations, ports, charities and universities. The roundtable was specifically set up to complement Maritime UK's Pride in Maritime Network.
Topics covered included a new STCW amendment on safety and training under review by the IMO which includes formal measures to counter bullying and harassment, including sexual assault and sexual harassment. A draft is being considered for adoption by the IMO, which if adopted will take two to four years to implement. The roundtable supported the move but some participants pointed out that that key to its success in reducing violence at sea will be how it will be monitored and enforced by shipping companies.
Mr McGowan said the roundtable also had a good opportunity to influence national and international policies to reduce such bullying and harassment, via both the UK Maritime 2050 Strategy, a UK government initiative, and through its seat at the IMO.
Another important international convention aimed at eliminating violence in the workplace, ILO Convention 190, had been ratified by the UK but the Union was still needed encouraging adoption in other countries where it has members working at sea and ashore, such as Switzerland and Netherlands.
Guest speaker at the roundtable was Nautilus shoreside member Gustavo Abdiel Aguilar-Miranda, who has spearheaded an I Exist Too project. This led to a forum in May 2023 in Panama, which he organised with the aim of focusing on improving the working lives of LGBT+ people in the maritime industry. Mr Aguilar-Miranda worked in the maritime sector before joining Newcastle University’s School of Modern Languages researching a doctorate in the LGBT+ population in the maritime sector.
The one day I Exist Too forum aimed to strengthen the access and career development of maritime LGBT+ workers, including the improvement of human rights, and the promotion of a safer environment for all, especially the LGBT+ population. The well received Panama conference included a webinar with 26 panelists from 14 countries over three continents, which drew up a soon-to-be-published I Exist Too declaration of support for LGBT+ workers within maritime. There are also plans for I Exist Too to progress from a project into an NGO/charity.
Planning is underway for a second conference somewhere in Europe for 2025 and maritime organisations are encouraged to take part.
The next Pride in Maritime roundtable will be held during LISW on Monday 11 September.
Nautilus members can also join the next Nautilus Equality and Diversity Forum when they register for the Union's 2023 General Meeting in October.