ICOMIA forms new diversity committee


The International Council of Marine Industry Associations, ICOMIA, has formed a new ICOMIA Diversity Committee.

ICOMIA is the international trade association representing the global marine industry. The new committee, which is open to all ICOMIA members, has been formed in response to members’ requests and in an effort to raise the profile of this topic. Reports show that increasing diversity not only reinforces greater social responsibility but can also drive growth and innovation.

“This is a hugely important step forward from a diversity perspective, but it also aims to increase the cultural and social-economic relevance of the leisure marine industry,” says ICOMIA president Darren Vaux.

ICOMIA Marina conference
The ICOMIA Marina conference in 2023. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has become a critical conversation for employers worldwide.

One of the first areas of discussion for the committee is addressing the lack of diversity data for the industry.

“Gathering data is of course a primary and fundamental requirement, and so one of the tasks for the ICOMIA Diversity Committee will be to commission a study to determine a baseline and obtain insights,” says committee chair Melanie Symes. “This will help create indicators to measure progress.”

The committee’s self-stated immediate objectives are to:

  • Conduct a comprehensive industry assessment to obtain a representation of workforce gender and age structures.
  • Identify barriers to greater diversity.
  • Gather examples of good practice in the industry.
  • Develop positive role models and thought leaders to shift perspectives.

The ICOMIA Diversity Committee says it welcomes input from ICOMIA members worldwide.

Earlier this month, MIN interviewed Belinda Joslin, founder of the Instagram group, Women in Boatbuilding, on the subject of inclusion and diversity in the work environment for women working in the marine industry.

“Creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment is an everyday challenge and conversation, not a yearly Instagram post,” she says.

“I’m 50 next month, and it blows my mind that we still have such marked inequalities, with misogyny growing in some groups. I strongly believe that we have a social responsibility to address the inequalities we see.”

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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