Women occupy only 5% of maritime leadership roles

The proportion of male and female employees in the global shore-based workforce remained essentially steady in 2020, according to Spinnaker’s Maritime HR Association data – 56% men, 41% women, and 3% unknown. The following are some of the most important conclusions from a recent study on gender diversity in the maritime industry:

Work location

Only the UK and the Philippines employ more women than males overall in nations with a big membership presence (500+ employees), with 53% and 67% of the workforce respectively — the result of a high number of customer service and crewing roles in these regions.


Female employees are more common in the Philippines and Singapore. Filipino women are mostly found working in crewing and finance in the Philippines. Singaporean females hold a significantly wider range of jobs, although there is still a strong focus on finance, and they are mostly found working in their native nation of Singapore.

Seniority & specialisms

Employing women at all levels of the hierarchy and across all job functions provides the benefits of diversity, and this is where the industry’s issues lie. Women hold 95% of all administrative positions, but only 5% of maritime senior leadership team positions. Women are underrepresented in occupational families that generate higher market salaries, such as technical and marine, chartering and freight trade, and shipbroking.

Gender pay gap

The gender wage gap is caused by a combination of all of the above factors. According to a high-level analysis of significant regions, Denmark has the smallest gender wage gap (at 30%). More information on the recently revealed UK marine wage gap may be found here.

“Unfortunately, the impact of Covid is anticipated to further damage the gender diversity picture – with women across all industries expected to be more likely to face redundancy or see changes in jobs or hours,” recruiting agency Spinnaker said in a statement.

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