KUALA LUMPUR, The Women In Maritime Association Malaysia (MyWIMA) is actively working towards reducing the huge disparity between the male and female workforce in the maritime industry.
Its president, Dr Yasmin Mohd Hasni said many sectors in Malaysia had surpassed the at least 30 per cent threshold for women’s participation, but women made up only one per cent of the workforce in the maritime industry.
“This percentage is very small and according to a study, women comprise only two per cent in this industry globally,” she told Bernama, here, today.
Met at the Women in Maritime Association (WIMA) Regional Conference on Empowering Women in Maritime – Bridging the Gap, Yasmin emphasised the importance of female presence in male-dominated industries, such as shipping and seafaring to create diversity.
She said while the other sectors were more ‘subtle and convenient’ for women, there was a wide opportunity for them in the maritime industry that had not been explored.
“There are various areas for women to participate in the industry, not only in the technical area but also in shipping services, education, engineering, authority, ports and terminals.
“Women are either unaware of the diverse and rewarding career prospects in the maritime sector or are discouraged from participating because of entrenched social and cultural bias against them in the maritime industry, as well as often having to face gender discrimination and sexual harassment.
In fact, we need more women to join the industry to create diversity and to encourage them to voice out their concerns,” she said.
Yasmin is passionate about women being better informed about opportunities available in the male-dominated sectors and about encouraging them to take up the challenge.
We hold forums and have online networking for capacity-building among members to disseminate information and the association’s agenda.
“We also provide platforms such as the mentoring programme for women in the industry to voice out their concerns and challenges faced via social media while keeping their identity anonymous,” Yasmin said, adding that MyWIMA was happy to welcome more women to join and contribute to the sector.
Established in November 2017, MyWIMA has 34 registered members nationwide.
The two-day conference, officially opened by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar, had a total of 105 participants comprising 71 locals and 34 from other Asian countries.
Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)