Women in shipping endure worse conditions than men, survey shows

Female employees in the Danish shipping industry say they're paid less than men and that they have experienced abusive behavior, according to new survey reported by Danish media Berlingske.
Photo: John Sibley/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix
Photo: John Sibley/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

Multiple women from various parts of the Danish shipping industry report experiences of being treated worse than men.

The women report that their wages are lower and that they have experienced offensive and abusive behavior.

These are some of the findings in a new survey among female employees in shipping, according to Danish newspaper Berlingske.

The results are based on answers by 180 members of WIS-Denmark, the Danish chapter of the union WIS (Women in Shipping).

The union's members include women in management, office jobs and other functions at Danish shipping lines.

38 percent of the surveyed women reveal that they have experienced sexism at their place of work within the past five years, while 28 percent report to have been exposed to sexual harassment in the same period.

Another finding is that female office employees earn 30 percent less than their male colleagues, while female managers earn 32 percent less than their male counterparts.

These figures have caused a stir in the Danish shipping sector, writes Berlingske.

Both trade organization Danish Shipping and container line Maersk regret how poor the conditions are for women.

"I'm very, very sorry that the numbers are so high and that there are women who feel violated at their place of work. This is very far away from our values, so we need to work on eliminating that," says Anne W. Trolle to Berlingske.

She is Executive Director of Employment Conditions, Collective Bargaining Agreements, Recruitment and Training at Danish Shipping, which commissioned the survey together with WIS-Denmark.

The biggest company in the industry, A. P. Moller-Maersk, "regrets" the high numbers, says Rachel Osikoya, who serves as Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Maersk.

"At Maersk, we're doing everything we can to create a culture where no sexism and sexual harassment doesn't take place. That is why we're currently hard at work on closely examining all working procedures, policies and tools," she writes in an email to Berlingske.

English Edit: Christoffer Østergaard

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