With a number of vacancies currently on its Executive Management Team, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) is in a unique position to address its gender balance during the IMO World Maritime Day themed year of “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” by appointing relevant, strong maritime women.
According to SAMSA’s website there are at least three (possibly four since the retirement of Nigel Campbell last year) positions available on its executive team – including the long-empty position of Chief Executive Officer.
With only one woman currently listed on the 11-member team, now is the time for SAMSA to appoint for a more balanced and reflective team. With two women on its Board, they represent 40 percent of SAMSA’s rather diminished Board of five – a better statistic, but more symptomatic of a Board that has been slowly whittled away, than indicative of a concerted effort to show gender diversity (in my opinion).
Compared to some of the other major African Maritime Authorities, SAMSA still falls somewhat short. The Kenya Maritime Authority includes four women on its 15-person Board of Directors, while Ghana Maritime Authority boasts four out of 13 on its management team.
Nigeria’s Authority (Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency – NIMASA) fares the worst, however. With four men on the Executive Management Team there is clearly no space for a woman. The representation on the NIMASA Board is equally as dismal with only one woman on the 11-member team.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has themed this year’s World Maritime Day “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” – a challenge to the industry that has long been male-dominated. Interestingly IMO, itself, may want to heed its own call as Kitack Lim, the current Secretary General, nears the end of his term that began in 2016.
It’s certainly an opportunity for the international body to lead by example and look to appoint its first female Secretary General. It is impossible to believe that there are no women capable of stepping up to this challenge.
Happy International Women’s Day!
[All statistics are based on information available on each Authority’s website and assumes that their listings are accurate and up-to-date.]