International Women’s Day- 8th March.

Left to right – Emily Burnett (Chief Officer,Eleanor Chapman (Commander), Alice Duncan (Captain), Fran Collins (CEO and Master Mariner), Nicola O’Loan (Commander), Katharine Kane (Chief Officer), Elizabeth Brindle (Deckhand).

Sunday, 8th March, celebrates International Women’s Day as a focal point in the movement for women’s rights to help forge a gender-equal world and celebrate women’s achievements. As part of its commitment to the ongoing support of women in the maritime industry, Red Funnel has signed the Women in Maritime pledge and intends to achieve chartership by June 2020.

The chartership, developed by Maritime UK, creates a framework to challenge companies to make progress on fairness, diversity and inclusion within the sector. Ultimately it aims to address gender equality in maritime roles, something that Red Funnel strongly supports.

At Red Funnel, 8.23% of certificated officers are female, as are 26% of our ships’ crews. The former is more than double the 2019 national average statistic of just 3%. Whilst these numbers are still far from equal, Red Funnel is committed to providing equal opportunities to all its staff, both ashore and afloat, and is proud to have seen the increase in gender equality in all areas of our business in recent years.

Red Funnel has already taken explicit steps towards chartership, including offering more flexible working options for women in maritime roles, providing employees with access to apply for flexible working at any time (not having to wait 26 weeks as per statutory legislation), and offering company enhanced maternity pay after two years’ service.

This month, Red Funnel Group also attained executive board gender equality when it appointed Leanna Lakes as Operations Director, joining CEO and fellow Master Mariner, Fran Collins, and HR Director, Debbie Reed, to make up a 50% female executive board of directors.

Fran Collins, CEO of Red Funnel Ferries, commented: “I’m very proud that Red Funnel has signed the Women in Maritime pledge and continues to surpass industry averages in what is historically a male-dominated industry. As an industry, we still have a long way to go but at Red Funnel we are dedicated to achieving Maritime UK chartership and continuing to take steps to inspire more women to join a fantastic industry that offers such a wide range of career options.”