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How MSC empowers women in the workforce

The situation

The shipping sector is a traditionally male-oriented industry. The level of women participation is an estimated 2% and patterns of job segregation as well as gender stereotyping still exist.

In the maritime industry, over 76% of the female workforce operates at administrative, junior, and professional positions, with only 0.17% of women enjoying an executive leadership role. Nevertheless, an increasing number of women are entering the shipping industry in all roles, including seafaring and operations, chartering, insurance, and law.

Our Strategy

MSC is actively working to promote maritime careers for women as well as female employees to senior positions. Efforts include internal mobility programmes and training to increase their interest in pursuing a career in our sector therefore retaining female talent.

In 2018, 35% of the promotions in MSC were given to female employees and 29% of internal mobility roles were given to women.

Our Impact

In collaboration with our SAP team based at Headquarters and our Agencies worldwide, we promoted training to female employees working in the finance and accounting departments. Those roles are extremely important as employees supervise a sophisticated process to ensure correct reporting to authorities, as well as respecting the obligations of MSC vendors providing almost real-time monitoring of costs and cashflow worldwide.

In 2018, we also partnered with a non-profit organisation offering expert free and confidential support to our HQ employees relating to health, work, finance, family, social insurance, and personnel issues in order to ensure their continued well-being and work/life balance. Additionally, we enhanced our investments in programmes to improve the technical skills and expertise of our employees all around the world.

One of our key global developmental initiatives is the MSC Academy, managed and implemented by the MSC Global Human Resources Department. This opportunity is offered to a pool of selected high potential employees with the aim of supporting their growth, being exposed to new networks increasing their knowledge of the business and our culture as well as our Sustainability approach. The project includes a People Management Training Programme which takes place both remotely and face-to-face to strengthen soft skills as well as the Shipping Training Programme for Africa (STPA) targeting employees working in our Agencies in Africa.

Despite the enhancement of initiatives and programs, challenges still remain, especially at the local level, where other elements such as cultural factors and social challenges, further prevent advancement in reaching gender equality. In this regard, as in the past years, we remain focussed on the following strategic areas:

  • Promotion of access to employment opportunities targeting local women in challenging countries
  • Vocational training on specific shipping-related services/operations to improve soft and technical skills required to work in our sector
  • Reduction of barriers to women’s empowerment. Initiatives included creation of breastfeeding rooms, flexible working hours, facilities for women, training on healthy nutrition practices, and mentoring.

To find out more, see pages 112-113 in the MSC 2018 Sustainability Report

Read more about MSC's Business Ethics and Protection of Human Rights pillar here.

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