ABP offers a multitude of employment options across the UK, however the majority of its employees are male. This year ABP is taking steps to increase workforce diversity.
ABP is a key UK employer, supporting approximately 119,000 jobs across the country. Its ports in East Anglia support 3,577 jobs in the region and within those 1,812 are local opportunities in Ipswich. These positions offer many prospects for the people of Ipswich, with a range of apprenticeships and career development opportunities available. However, typically these opportunities have been taken by men, as historically, the maritime industry has been a male-dominated one. ABP is taking action to combat this, nationally and within Ipswich. As the UK’s leading port operator, ABP wishes to lead the way and inspire other companies to explore and extend the diversity of their staff.
In its ‘Gender Pay Gap Report 2018’, ABP stated its belief that increasing the diversity of its workforce will only expand the company’s opportunity for success. There is a wish to gain a varied, skilled and committed workforce who will be valued and treated equally. However, this is not an easy task as many of ABP’s roles are STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) which generally attract men. Therefore, ABP has created many schemes to encourage more women into the maritime field.
ABP is placing a focus on work-life balance and is implementing flexible working options; this means staff with young families can manage their work around other family needs. Recently launched employee benefits which offer family support are also opening more options to young working parents. Development and leadership programmes for women are being introduced and transparent career paths ensured. Support is also being sought through government and non-government initiatives, to address workplace gender equality. Furthermore, there are visible efforts to integrate women into all sectors of the company, particularly those with a legacy of male dominance.
ABP is endeavouring to expand the great opportunities it offers within the port industry to all genders. Hopefully this will not only encourage women to pursue a career they hadn’t considered or did not think was possible, but also influence other businesses to take similar action; particularly those with a legacy of male dominance. ABP’s inspirational effort is helping eradicate the myth that the maritime industry is a man’s world.