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PD Ports announces company-wide diversity pledge to tackle gender imbalance within the maritime industry

Posted on 09 March 2022

PD Ports announces company-wide diversity pledge to tackle gender imbalance within the maritime industry

This International Women’s Day, PD Ports, owner and operator of Teesport and one of the UK’s most progressive port groups, has announced its Company-wide diversity pledge, making clear its intent to create a more diverse workplace and creating an environment that embraces change and supports progress.

The port operator has engaged diversity and inclusion consultancy Diverse Matters to begin a three month intensive audit process of the business that will enable PD Ports to build a benchmark Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

The first phase of the project will see PD Ports engage in desktop audits, policy reviews, focussed interviews and engagement surveys in order to make a full assessment of any potential diversity and inclusion improvements that can be made.

CEO Frans Calje said: “Our industry as a whole has a historic gender imbalance where women are significantly underrepresented. Studies suggest that women account for only 11 per cent of the overall maritime workforce and, perhaps even more startling, it is estimated that less than 1 per cent of that are women in operational roles.

“We must do what we can to tackle those issues and ensure that opportunities within our industry are accessible and attractive to all which is why I am delighted that we are starting on this journey of discovery so that we can really take hold of the issue and take practical steps to address gender equality and inclusion.

“It is also important, however, to recognise that diversity is a much wider issue. Our aim is that, by tackling issues of gender inequality, we can use our findings as a benchmark that will enable us to continue our growth as an adaptable and accepting business; whilst continuing to build a richer and more immersive business for the future.”

It is a well-known fact that people are at the heart of PD Ports and the Company has now embarked on this statement journey in the hope of further supporting its people whilst building a richer and more immersive business for the future.

PD Ports has a long and proud history of supporting young people, a commitment that now exceeds 20 years and is backed by award-winning apprenticeship programmes and partnerships with institutions such as the High Tide Foundation, the Tees Valley Logistics Academy, Teesside University and the Education Training Collective.

With this new pledge, the port operator is hoping to tackle issues around gender imbalance within its industry head-on, an approach praised by Natasha Broomfield-Reid, Director at Diverse Matters.

“We are looking forward to working with PD Ports over the coming months,” said Natasha.  “This is an opportunity for us to review good practice, areas for development and support the company with next steps in enhancing practice.  This will also enable us to get to know the company and its people.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #breakthebias… this is a time where we can think how we can be more inclusive to women in the workplace and a workplace that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive for everyone.”