Finding the right person to recruit is often made doubly difficult with some interview panels failing to understand the importance of gender equality and the benefits it offers in the initial recruitment process. Now there is a unique and productive way to aid recruitment and increase the diversity in the maritime workplace and it is the first initiative of its kind in the world.

From the start of the recruitment process there are barriers that can alienate and put off women from even making applications for jobs and all-male panels are often seen as a barrier to comprehensive recruitment. Now the Maritime UK Women in Maritime Taskforce has created a unique interview pool to assist recruiters in creating a gender-balanced interview process, a positive move according to Nicky Goldsbrough, Director of Corporate Services at Shoreham Port, who is taking the lead in this initiative for the Taskforce.

“We understand that creating gender balanced interview panels can be challenging, particularly when the focus is on experience. The creation of the Women in Maritime Interview Pool offers recruiters experienced and knowledgeable female participation in the recruitment process to open up the field to an even wider range of applicants. The UK is showing how important diversity in the workplace is. One of the criticisms of recruitment in the maritime world is that female applicants feel ignored in what is often perceived to be a male dominated industry. The Interview Pool offers both sides an opportunity to be transparent about the recruitment process as well as offering employers a stronger focus on the best candidates regardless of gender. After all, if you are not recruiting from 100% of the applicants then how do you know you’re getting the best person for the role?”.

Sue Terpilowski, Chair of the Women in Maritime Taskforce, sees the Interview Pool as an ideal solution to organisations that may not have a female employee or panel member available for interviews.

“We realise that not every maritime business has a female employee so using the volunteers from the Interview Pool can be a great help to those looking to broaden their recruitment processes. The female volunteers come from the industry sectors we believe people are recruiting for and it is the perfect first step opportunity to say we are a diverse and gender neutral business. After all, how do you know if you are selecting the right person from a panel that has not had a diverse and gender open pool of applicants to choose from?”

The Interview Pool, the brainchild of Nicky Goldsbrough, has already proved to be worthwhile in its operation and was recently praised by Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive, The British Ports Association. He commented, “It was invaluable to have an external pair of eyes and view feeding into our advertising and recruitment decisions. It was also a great help in terms of running a process which, because of our organisation’s size, is something we rarely undertake. We would really encourage others to consider utilising the concept.”

The Women in Maritime Interview Pool is now available for recruitment panels and Nicky Goldsbrough believes it will prove to be the missing link in the gender equality provisions for the maritime industry in the future.

“The Interview Pool is a resource that opens up that large pool of female talent and gives recruiters a chance to make their choice of candidate work for them by giving the recruitment process a more diverse and equal balance.”

Nicky Goldsbrough, Director of Corporate Services at Shoreham Port

High resolution version of image available on request.

For more information or interviews please contact: Sue Terpilowski, Image Line +44 207 689 9009

Notes to Editors

About Maritime UK

  • Maritime UK brings together the UK’s shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries to drive growth by promoting the sector, influencing government and fostering collaboration.
  • Supporting just under 1 million jobs and adding £37.4bn to our economy, maritime is responsible for facilitating 95% of UK global trade.
  • Website:


About the Maritime UK Women’s in Maritime Taskforce

Since its establishment in January 2018, the Taskforce has launched several key initiatives including two new resources. They were created to respond to specific challenges companies have raised in their mission to improve diversity. Namely, too few women speakers at industry conferences and a lack of gender diversity in new recruits.

The first resource is a ‘Speaker Bank’ comprising women speakers. The initiative provides a database of women speakers for panels and conferences. Through its work, the Taskforce heard that many conference organisers claimed that they were unable to identify women to speak on a relevant topic at events. The speaker bank tags speakers with areas of industry expertise. The organisers of London International Shipping Week have committed to promoting the speaker bank to those organising events during the week.

Maritime UK has also started a series of public speaking workshops to help support more women to join the speaker bank.

The second resource is an “Interview Pool”, which will loan maritime women to companies that may lack diversity on interview panels. Research by the Taskforce identified that more diverse interview panels or panels with HR professionals with diversity training are more likely to recruit a diverse workforce. However, a number of smaller companies in particular highlighted that they do not have access to such recruiters within their staff. The interview pool provides a facility for these companies to access relevant skills and expertise.