Product tanker owner Hafnia has won Danish Shipping’s first ever diversity award.

The BW-owned company scooped the prize for dreaming up a collaborative “diversity lab” to come up with concrete proposals to help employees.

Hafnia beat a strong field of Norden, DFDS and Maersk Tankers to the award.

Confetti fell and champagne corks popped when the staff were told the news on Friday last week.

The company’s Maritime Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Lab was put 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.

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

Anne Windfeldt Trolle, executive director at Danish Shipping, said the jury had praised a “very creative, innovative and almost magical initiative”.

“It was really difficult to choose a winner and it was a very close run,” she said. “The initiatives are rather different but what they all have in common is that they are very serious about bettering diversity and that they contribute to bringing about real change.”

Hafnia chief executive Mikael Skov said: “Progress through collaboration and a collective approach to address change is the tangibility we at Hafnia have been pushing for.”


“We should all continue to address the challenges at an organisational level, but when we come together and lead the change in the industry as a whole, it becomes a game-changer.”

In particular, he thanked Hafnia’s head of innovation, Shanker Pillai, and Richard Holdsworth, founder of environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmarking company V-Box, as the true drivers of the lab.

Mia Krogslund Jorgensen, head of people, culture and strategy at Hafnia, said: “We have received a vast number of submissions from all over the world, from those onshore and at sea. Thank you to everyone who participated. All your contributions make a difference to evolving the maritime reality.”

The first result of the think tank is called SeaCode, which is an app through which both women and men at sea who have experienced harassment or bullying can share their experiences and seek advice and help.

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