ICS Sets Baseline for Diversity & Inclusion Targets


  • ICS establishes an extensive diversity report examining shipping companies and ship-owners around the world.
  • Report finds 7.5% of seafarers are female, 30% of companies employ women and at least 3 languages are spoken on the average ship.
  • ICS sets a baseline for diversity and inclusion targets.
  • Updated Tracker will be released every three years.

ICS releases the ICS Diversity Tracker, the first report looking into the state of diversity and inclusion in the global shipping labour force, says a press release published on their website. 

The Tracker, sets baseline targets for improved corporate diversity and inclusion policies in the coming years. Nearly 200 shipping companies across the world participated in the survey.

What does the report reveal?

 The report revealed that:

  • 30% of companies employ women in board-level roles.
  • Close to 60% of companies have female officers on board their ships
  • Just 7.5% of total seafarers were female. 
  • Nearly 75% of the companies have a maternity leave policy.

The report also notes it is vital that the policies are robust and raises concerns over whether companies actively encourage diversity and inclusion amongst crews and staff.

Diverse & Inclusive work environment 

The ICS Diversity Tracker, the first of its kind released by an industry body, reflects ICS’s commitment to promoting a diverse and inclusive work environment in international shipping. 


The report provides a list of recommendations for immediate improvement including:

  • introducing flexible working patterns; 
  • ensuring suitable onboard accommodation for women seafarers; 
  • publishing diversity and inclusion targets.

The ICS calls for a significant increase in the numbers of women onboard from 7.5% to 12% in the next three years and to 25% in 20 years.

Language issues onboard

Research also revealed that the average ship has a mix of at least three nationalities on board, and sometimes as many as thirty. 

Three languages were the minimum spoken on the average ship. 

However, only half of the surveyed companies said that they are currently promoting and encouraging diversity and inclusion activities amongst crews or during hiring.

What does the report discuss?

(1) the value of diversity, inclusion, and individual differences,

(2) information from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) study, Recruitment and retention of seafarers and the promotion of opportunities for women seafarers,

(3) results of the ICS Diversity survey conducted in Autumn 2019, participated by 240 shipping companies, and 

(4) key conclusions and recommendations based on the report and survey.

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Source: ICS


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