The inaugural Women in Isle of Man Maritime meet-up was held recently at the Embassy Room in Douglas.

It attracted attendees from across the island’s maritime sector to network, share experiences and discuss the future of women in the maritime industry.

The meet-ups, which form part of a new initiative from Isle of Man Maritime, are being driven by director Lesley Walker to empower women working in the industry - a field where they have historically been underrepresented.

Commenting on the event, she said: ‘It is estimated that there are 1.2 million seafarers across the world yet just 2% (circa 24,000) of those are women and they are predominantly in the cruise industry.

‘Our meet-ups aim to challenge these statistics by providing a platform for women in the industry to share invaluable insights, discuss industry challenges, explore opportunities for growth, and develop strategies to inspire and support the next wave of female maritime leaders.’

The inaugural event featured a presentation from Captain Lee Clarke, an allyship for women in maritime who shared some shocking stories and experiences of female cadets from throughout his career to set the tone and provide background to some of the subjects to be addressed.

Discussions subsequently focused on a variety of issues such as gender bias and workplace culture onboard, safety and harassment, overcoming career barriers and work-life balance concerns, the importance of mentorship and visible role models, and innovative strategies to promote inclusivity.

Lesley continued: ‘As a cluster, Isle of Man Maritime is committed to fostering diversity and inclusivity. Through initiatives like these we hope to create more opportunities for women, promote their professional growth, and advocate for equitable practices within the industry.’

Held quarterly, the next meet up is scheduled for mid-July.

They are open to all women working in the Isle of Man’s maritime sector, whether a seafarer or in a career onshore connected to the sector.

If you are interested in joining, please email Lesley at [email protected] to register your interest and sign up to receive emails on future events and initiatives.