Women at sea: a great value for Furetank

A balanced share of women and men in crews is an important factor for everyone’s well-being on board. Furetank has actively strived to attract skilled female sailors for many years: an effort which has paid off in many respects.
For a shipping company, Furetank has a fair share of female crew members. Twelve officers including four senior officers, as well as three ratings, are women. According to Furetank’s CEO Lars Höglund, this benefits the welfare of the entire company.

– We all want women on board, it brings a more pleasant atmosphere on the vessels. As in all industries, a diversified workplace in terms of gender and cultural background is a good thing. It helps us all grow as people and colleagues. If we are all similar we can only move in a singular direction. We want to shape a workplace with many perspectives represented, a round ball which can roll different ways and find new paths forward, says Lars Höglund.

Lars Höglund has been interviewed in a podcast (interview starting 21 mins in) by the Swedish Maritime Administration. The authority has observed Furetank’s efforts to make women and men equally comfortable at sea and thereby attract more women to a traditionally mostly-male profession.

The administration representatives were guided around the engine room of one of Furetank’s new vessels by Ailene Barrios, a Philippine crew member who joined the company as a student in 2008. She advanced all the way to her recent role as First Engineer. What they heard from the female crew members was basically that they were treated just like anybody on board, in an inclusive and welcoming working environment.

“I think a conservative view of shipping is that it takes muscles and strength to do the job. But today, working on board is mostly about technology and IT. The most important thing is that you are interested and committed to your work, no matter who you are. It makes us very proud to be perceived as welcoming towards women,” says Lars Höglund.

Furetank’s recruitment processes are entirely competence-based without quotas, but gladly, the move towards balanced crews is self-reinforcing. When female employees testify that Furetank is a good place to work, even more women apply.

Also, Furetank has consciously worked on facilitating family life, giving both mums and dads the possibility to take parental leave in a way that suits their families.

“We try to be as flexible as we possibly can. It benefits both our employees and the company. The more we can make them enjoy working with us, the longer they stay. Keeping our staff also means economic advantages so I see a great win-win,” says lars Höglund.




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