Shipowners’ organisation Danish Shipping has launched a new diversity award to highlight initiatives on inclusion.

A jury formed to judge the award has revealed a shortlist of four companies and will meet on Monday to determine the winner among Hafnia, DFDS, Norden and Maersk Tankers.

The idea is to pay tribute to those who work to create increased diversity in the shipping industry, Danish Shipping said.

The task is to evaluate the four nominees based on initiatives that have either been significant for the individual company or for the entire industry.

Danish Shipping’s executive director for employment conditions, recruitment and training, Anne Windfeldt Trolle, is on the jury.

She said: “I am looking forward to discussing the four nominees with the other members of the jury and I am happy that we can create an occasion to focus on some of the shipping companies that do something extra for diversity.

“The award will hopefully put a spotlight on places in the industry where there is a serious and innovative approach in relation to diversity,” she added.

The organisation said a “great many” of its members “work seriously and determinedly with diversity.”

Ro-ro operator DFDS has set a target of having 30% of women in the company in 2023.

The target has already been reached on the board and in several offices. “Diversity reporting” has been introduced as part of quarterly financial reports.

Diverse new recruits

Maersk Tankers meanwhile has introduced a new equality strategy and a continued focus on filling half of all new posts with women.

The product carrier specialist has hit 55% on this measure, and the share of females at the company has increased from 30.5% in 2020 to 35% at the end of 2021.

In August, Maersk Tankers also said it would go beyond new Danish legislation on parental leave and offer full pay during 24 weeks’ leave.

This is aimed at creating greater equality in the conditions offered to mothers and fathers, including single parents and LGBTQ+ families.

Another product tanker owner, Hafnia, has created a Maritime Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Lab together with Rightship, Wilhelmsen, Thome Group, Rio Tinto and Anglo American.

The partnership is a kind of internal think tank where employees and teams across the companies can contribute with good ideas and initiatives that can be spread to other companies.

‘Parents’ package’

In the first year, 2020, more than 50 ideas about better diversity were shared.

Finally, tanker and bulker owner Norden has introduced a “parents’ package” to ensure full pension during maternity leave.

The company also has 24 weeks of paid leave for both the father, mother and adoptive parents.

Pension payments have been introduced to reduce the gap that often exists between male and female pots due to maternity leave during working life.

The members of the jury include Anja Rose, head of organisational performance and development at Welltec, and Heidi Heseltine, chief executive of Halcyon Recruitment and founder of Diversity Study Group.

The winner will be announced in October.