After launching initiatives on decarbonisation, safety and seafarer welfare, the Global Maritime Forum is gearing up to launch its next effort focused on diversity.

The non-profit focused on tackling sustainability challenges in shipping is aiming for a May launch date for its All Aboard Alliance, which will aim to work towards a more diverse, equitable and inclusive industry.

Jan Dieleman, the chief executive of Cargill Ocean Transportation who has just been named chairman of the Global Maritime Forum, told TradeWinds that bringing more diversity to shipping is not just the right thing to do.

He said it is important as the industry faces a looming problem with attracting talent both at sea and onshore.

“If you just look at the challenges ahead of us, and the bright kinds of ideas and solutions that we need, we need to get a much more diverse representation to crack that nut,” he said.

He added that diverse teams are “more creative, more innovative and more successful”.

The group drafting the All Aboard Alliance includes key leading executives in shipping, such as Dieleman, Bernhard Schulte Group chief executive Ian Beveridge, Dorian LPG chief executive John Hadjipateras, Hafnia chief executive Michael Skov and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions head of marine Patrizia Kern-Ferretti.

The group has acknowledged that human resources departments have been working to improve diversity for decades.

But the alliance will seek to go further, by creating a dedicated maritime framework for making shipping more diverse and by securing commitments from senior executive leadership in the industry to make diversity, equality, and inclusion a strategic priority.

“As industry leaders, we have been deeply disappointed to see how progress on diversity in the maritime industry is lacking behind other industries,” the group said in a recent opinion article penned by Camille Simbulan, the head of communication and special projects at the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines, and fellow members of the drafting group.

“This needs to change.”

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