Preliminary results from the social survey on the role of women in ports: A SEANERGY project initiative

Share this event
10:30 hrs.

Latest Tweets

The IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (The Netherlands), together with SEANERGY partners, conducted a survey to enhance the comprehension of women’s vital role in the port industry. The objective of the survey was to explore the intricate dynamics of cultural and social inclusion within the ports industry, with a particular emphasis on the participation of women in ports located in EU countries and across the globe.

The survey was organized in a manner that consisted of six unique sections that comprised a diverse array of enquiries that explored different aspects of women’s participation in port-related endeavors, as follows:

  1. Barriers to the inclusion of women and underrepresented communities in ports;
  2. Improvement of gender inclusivity and the involvement of women and under-represented communities in the port sector;
  3. Types of jobs/occupations women commonly hold in ports;
  4. Factors contributing to the under-representation of women in certain job types in ports;
  5. How supportive the work environment is for women in ports compared to men; and
  6. Diversity in the port workforce.

The survey results yielded a dataset, consisting of 105 completed responses from individuals representing different stakeholders of the port industry from the 27 EU member countries, thereby contributing to a total of 501 completed responses from countries around the globe, between July and October, 2023.

The preliminary results obtained from the respondents of the EU member countries suggest that significant interconnected barriers hinder the inclusion of women and underrepresented communities in the port industry. These barriers encompass political barriers, societal barriers, lack of gender-sensitive policies and inflexible work arrangements, and they are perceived as medium to very high-strength barriers by a substantial majority of respondents. Concerning these aspects, some concrete (numerical/statistical) examples from the EU respondents of this survey are as follows:

  • Only 4% of the respondents consider economic barriers as a high-strength barrier. Similarly, demographic barriers, ethnological barriers, workplace environment barriers, limited availability of skill-based training programs for women and political barriers were perceived by the majority of the respondents as medium-strength barriers or no barriers at all when it comes to the inclusion of women in ports.
  • 51% of the respondents, for example, do not consider demographic factors as barriers at all to the inclusion of women in ports.
  • Nevertheless, 40% of the respondents rated lack of skill-based training for women as ‘Not at all a barrier’. On the other hand, almost 1/3rd of the respondents considered societal factors such as cultural norms and stereotypes to be very high-strength barriers to the inclusion of women in ports.

In addition, the respondents expressed strong support for the following measures:

  1. Providing incentives to the port and facilitating training and awareness programs at the national level (e.g., the UN trade & development (UNCTAD): The TrainForTrade port management programme promotes gender equality in ports by increasing the number of women’s participation in leadership positions at different port-related organizations/facilities),
  2. Addressing workplace safety and harassment concerns through a formal complaint/enquiry process,
  3. Providing a platform for women and members of underrepresented communities to share experiences, encourage, and co-learn from each other, and
  4. Increasing the visibility, employment opportunities, and promotional prospects for women and underrepresented communities in the port industry, which garnered the highest acceptance rating by the respondents at 75%.

The key conclusions deduced from the survey among the EU respondents are as follows:

  1. The EU respondents linked the employment of women in ports to customer service, administrative, and port health and safety related jobs. These professional employment options emphasize the criticality of challenging societal assumptions, enhancing recruitment strategies to attract fresh personnel, and fostering an inclusive atmosphere in order to address the issue of underrepresentation of women in different port-activity related jobs/positions and promote a more equitable distribution of labour in diversified port operations.
  2. The majority of respondents (46%) consider the port workforce to be moderately diverse. This suggests that they see some level of gender diversity within the industry; however, they believe there is room for improvement. This view could indicate that organizations within the port sector are making efforts to promote diversity but may need to do more to achieve a higher level of representation.
More news

The SEANERGY Project joined the Danube Ports Days 2023

On November 23rd and 24th 2023, the SEANERGY Project was presented at the Danube Ports Days in Vienna. The Danube Ports Days have become a must-attend event on the agenda of the IWT community in the Danube Region and well beyond, providing a transnational platform to discuss, by bringing together decision-makers, experts and the IWT sector, key aspects related to port development issues.

Port energy transition: Investigation of port stakeholders’ barriers and solutions

The World Maritime University (WMU) is an academic partner in the SEANERGY project (Sustainability EducationAl programme for greeNER fuels and enerGY on ports). With the objective of contributing to the achievement of the EU Green Deal objectives, the SEANERGY Project aims to establish a framework to explore the potential of EU ports as key nodes in the marine green energy network.