International Women’s Day gives us a chance to look at how our own industry is performing in terms of gender equality and opportunities for women. Our MB92 Group Culture Director, Carmen Sánchez, has overseen significant progression in the industry and our company. Yet despite these advances, there is still so far to go. We talked with her on the current state of the industry, the trends, the challenges and how we address them.
This is still a male-dominated industry, but we are slowly seeing things balancing out. For example, just 15 years ago we had no female project managers at MB92. Today, we have 21 women project managers across the MB92 Group representing 23% of the project management team. We are also seeing more women in technical roles across our supplier network as well as on board. However, there is still much work to do.
Perhaps as a result of social changes brought on by COVID-19 and the work-life balance culture shift, childcare and family responsibilities are increasingly being shared equally between men and women at MB92. We have experienced a trend in men wanting greater reconciliation between their professional and personal lives. Changes in attitudes together with a family friendly working culture have helped facilitate this.
We need to empower more young women to perceive marine engineering, naval architecture and other related maritime courses as exciting and viable career paths
In conversations with local universities, it is still evident that enrolment by women on courses such as marine engineering is still very low. I believe that this is partly due to perception and a lack of awareness among students deciding on university studies as there is clearly a demand for talent in this area. Graduates have a high success rate at finding roles in the specialist areas and with significant career potential.
We need to empower more young women to perceive marine engineering, naval architecture and other related maritime courses as exciting and viable career paths. To do this, we need to promote our industry as one of inclusion, opportunity, and innovation. This needs to happen in schools before university with the help of career advisors, talks and workshops. We work closely with schools, professional training centres and universities to this end, and host visits at our facilities to attract the next generation of talented men and women to this amazing industry.