Norway has long maritime traditions and the industry employs over 60 000 people – most of them men. The gender gap is especially visible at sea, where barely 1 out of 10 individuals are women*.

Some of the women in Østensjø Rederi

Summer of 2023, the Norwegian government published the “Strategy for Equality in the Maritime Industry”. The strategy sheds light on the existing challenges tied to gender imbalance within the sector and aims to foster better gender parity going forward.

Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we recognize the significance of raising awareness of a very important topic. This day creates an arena for promoting equality and spreading knowledge. Seizing this opportunity, we aim to highlight facts because:

  • The maritime industry needs more women.
  • We need women with maritime education and maritime experience.
  • We need women in management positions.

We know now that factors such as working conditions and terms, equipment, and uniforms, created for men, culture, and the overall working environment, contribute to the underrepresentation of women at sea.

The government has identified four areas of improvement:

  • Recruitment and provision of role models
  • Cultivating an inclusive working environment for all
  • Ensuring a workplace free from harassment
  • Adapting workplace policies to accommodate diverse life situations

Østensjø Rederi, as an industry player, will integrate the government’s findings into our strategy aimed at fostering greater gender equality. While acknowledging that there’s no single solution to these challenges, we remain confident that joint efforts from industry leaders, policymakers, and educational institutions can effect positive change, one step at a time.

*From Likestillingstrategi for maritim næring