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ESPO's Gender Balance Assessment Confirms Almost One Third of Women in Committees

7th March 2020
European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) publishes statistics for committee meeting gender balance for 2019. European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) publishes statistics for committee meeting gender balance for 2019. Photo: ESPO Secretariat-twitter

On the occasion of this year's International Women's Day, tomorrow, Sunday (8 March), the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) published the statistics for their committee meeting gender balance for 2019.

All technical committees together, overall 31,76% of port professionals attending the meetings in 2019 were women, 68,24% men. The participation rate of women in ESPO meetings remains thus stable compared to 2018.

Looking in more detail into the different committees, the results of this monitoring reveals that the Port Governance committee and the Sustainable Development committee are scoring very well with almost an equal representation of men and women at the meetings. The Economic Analysis and Statistics committee and the Trade Facilitation, Customs and Security committee both count nearly a quarter of women. 20% of the members participating in the Intermodal, Logistics and Industry committee last year were women, which reveals an increase of 6% compared to 2018. The General Assembly and the Executive Committee meetings gathered an average of one third of women for two thirds of men at their meetings. In 2019, these two committees have welcomed slightly more women than in 2018. On the other hand, the Cruise and Ferry port Network (38% of women in 2019) and the Sustainable Development Committee (43% of women in 2019) show a small decline in the number of participating women.

"It is the second year we are monitoring the number of women active in our different meetings. This second report does not reveal spectacular changes or improvements but shows that the average of one third of women active in our organisation is a quite stable number. While some committee meetings attract fewer women, it is important to see that the Executive Committee, which is the policy-making and strategic body of the organisation, shows a slight increase compared to last year, with 36% participation of women”, says ESPO’s Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost.

ESPO has been one of the founding members of the European Commission’s initiative “Women in Transport – EU Platform for Change”, which was launched in 2017. In order to strengthen women’s employment and equal opportunities for women and men in the transport sector, the members have been exchanging best practices and experience related to diverse topics such as improving work-life balance, the gender pay gap, fighting gender-based violence and harassment and tackling gender stereotypes from an early age. The platform has been set-up to address and increase the low percentage of women transport workers in the EU, who account only for 22% of the transport work force.

Moreover, ESPO welcomes the first Commission’s strategy for equality between women and men in Europe. On 5 March, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025; which sets out key actions for the next 5 years and commits to ensure that the Commission will include an equality perspective in all EU policy areas.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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