Challenging stereotypes to enable a gender diverse future pipeline


The shipping and logistics industries have traditionally been male dominated with very few women, particularly seafarers; the estimated industry average of just above 2%. Attracting women into the industry is one of the biggest challenges.

What did you want to achieve?

Gender stereotypes associated with different careers start at a very young age. We all have a responsibility to challenge these stereotypes. At Maersk, we are addressing this as part of a longterm investment to challenge stereotypes and change perspectives to enable a gender diverse future female pipeline.

What did you do?

Maersk has three female role models taking part in ‘Lead the Future’, a broader STEM awareness campaign in Denmark, where we have our headquarters. Our role models visit high schools and universities to engage with students and highlight a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) career.

We launched a global video as part of the programme. Our video highlights that the issue of gender stereotypes associated with different careers starts at a very young age, as young as 6 years old.

What are the results so far?

Based on an idea that has been used in previous countries, we recorded the stereotypes video in a school in Denmark – a country once ranked high on the WEF Gender Gap Index.

We had hoped that maybe in Denmark, the children might see careers more equally. They did not; the results were similar, with over 80% of the children assuming that a Captain and an Engineer are more likely to be careers for men. Despite the progress claimed in bridging the gender equality gap, we still have a long way to go.

What have you learned?

We have learned that bridging the gap cannot be a corporate issue alone but requires all members of society to change.