We promote an inclusive workplace culture where our people can be themselves, perform their best and achieve their potential thus creating a richness of perspective and ideas that will add value to the business. We have procedures for managing inappropriate behaviour within the workplace such as: harassment, bullying and physical and verbal abuse and provide support to employees affected as required.
SPO recognises the business benefits from the diversity of our workforce. We encourage both diversity and equal opportunities. A properly diverse workforce is one whose members are not discriminated against. Accordingly, we require full compliance with applicable employment and other laws and will not tolerate unlawful discrimination, harassment (physical or verbal) or other breaches of applicable laws.
Workplace Diversity and Inclusion ("D&I") involves the Company and all of its employees recognising the inherent value of individual differences and then managing them to produce a welcoming workplace. Our commitment to promoting diversity in the workplace is documented in our Corporate CoC, as well as our People Policy and Diversity and Inclusion Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which are a part of our Corporate Governance Manual (CGM).
SPO has a D&I Committee in place, which is responsible for drafting the relevant policies and procedures and implementing them at the company level. Our Flexible Work Policy was introduced early in 2020 to support a productive, diverse and inclusive working culture.
Breakdown of shore-based employees by gender identity
We have an exceptionally diverse workforce of various religions and age groups with seafarers representing 44 countries and regions while shore-based employees representing 41 nationalities. With offices in 19 countries and regions around the world D&I is a material issue for SPO. We work towards ensuring that we have a cohesive, value-adding team, and that everyone is treated with respect.
In 2020, of the shore-based employees, 51% were male and 49% were female. This balance has been very consistent over the past five years, with a small fluctuation of 2-3% demonstrating a stable and proportionate overall distribution by gender identity.
Seagoing employees by gender identity
The gender breakdown for our seagoing employees is heavily skewed, male to female, which is reflective of the shipping industry as a whole. Today, women represent only 2% of the world's 1.2 million seafarers and 94% of female seafarers are working in the cruise industry.*
Among our seagoing employees, there were 19 females, which is only 0.9% of the total number of seafarers.
We continue to encourage more women to join the SPO fleet by creating a culture where women can feel safe and are supported. In addition to our policies we provide a Confidential Whistleblowing Hotline to deal with any potential harassment or discrimination issues.
We are pleased to report that there has been only two cases of harassment or discrimination confirmed out of eight reported in the last three years. This is obviously two too many, but simultaneously the very low incidence speaks to a mature and respectful workforce.
We have a People Policy and a Diversity and Inclusion SOP, which aim to embed positive diversity, equality and respect of all into all our operations to ensure that we benefit from a welcoming, positive, innovative and outperforming work environment, which is essential to SPO's continued success. We run "Preventing Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace" training module for all shore-based employees.
The breakdown of our gender identity balance by age group shows that we hire more younger females, however that balance shifts in the 30-50 age group towards male employees and then continues to shift further in the over 50 age group.
Number of shore-based employees broken down by gender identity and job type / level
Type of employment
Full / Part-time
Type of contract
Breakdown by employment level and gender remains significant, as there are four times more men in managerial positions than women (79% vs 21%).
Gender equality is one of Swire group's and SPO's Diversity & Inclusion focus areas. We acknowledge that this will be a journey and SPO's Management team is committed to work towards narrowing the gender gap at all levels and ensuring that gender barriers and biases are eliminated. The first step to effect change is to raise awareness.
We have started to analyse our shore-based employee demographics and communicate it internally. We have seen an increase in the percentage of females in Senior Manager roles from 19% in 2019 to 31% in 2020. Click here for statistics showing further breakdown of shore-based employees by employment contract and employment type, employment level and age group.
Our equal opportunities practices commit us to ensuring there is no unjustified discrimination in the recruitment, retention, skills training and competence development of our employees on the basis of aspects including: age, disability, ethnicity or ancestry, family responsibilities, gender identity, language (whilst noting that proficiency in the English language is a legal requirement of the marine industry), marital status including civil partnerships, nationality, political views, pregnancy, race, religious beliefs or creeds, or sexual orientation.
SPO's Management team works to provide equality of opportunity to all of our employees wherever they are based and ensure that there is no discrimination on the basis of educational background, or life experience. SPO seeks to have a workforce, that as far as practical, is reflective of the diversity of the stakeholder communities in which our business units operate worldwide.
SPO is a member of the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) Singapore chapter. WISTA is an international networking organisation whose mission is to attract and support women, at the management level, in the maritime, trading and logistics sectors. We are also a member of DIAN through our parent company in Hong Kong SAR. (DIAN, the Diversity & Inclusion in Asia Network is the leading network for companies and professionals committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in their organisations in Asia, facilitated by the Hong Kong SAR NGO, "Community Business").
The Swire group has in place the Swire Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee (S-DISC), which has the mandate to define the overall approach to diversity and inclusion, setting overall parameters, guidelines and timetable for the Swire group's operating companies, and lead by example in terms of the implementation of this framework. SPO is a member of the S-DISC and is working on implementing the D&I framework and policies aligned with the Swire group's D&I strategy.
Photos by Matthew Albanus, Master, SPO