We developed six actionable concepts to address the main challenges: The lack of (correct) knowledge about the opportunities offered and the legacy of a male-dominated culture in the industry. The area subsequently received state funding for carrying out these initiatives.
Awareness of the maritime career path is very low among prospect female students – it simply does not show up on their radar. And when presented with the option, there is a misalignment between what adolescents are seeking in a future education program and what they think the maritime programs can offer. To combat this, our recommendations included initiatives to create bridges from topics in elementary school and the maritime area, a better “translation” of the programs’ content to adolescents’ areas of interest, and a more strategic use of female role models.
Moreover, there is a cultural barrier. The male-dominated legacy of the industry not only manifests itself in bullying and a pressure on women to constantly having to prove their worth on the ships. But also practical issues such as having nowhere to put sanatory towels in the waste sorting system on the ship. Or not having work wear in women’s sizes. The sum of all those seemingly little things is a constant reminder to the women that they are in a man’s world, and that they do not fit in.