Saudi logistics and transportation company Bahri recently participated in the 13th Annual Maritime HR Conference in London. The company’s chief support officer Hisham Alkhaldi was invited as a guest speaker at the largest worldwide gathering of maritime HR professionals.
Held at Leonardo Royal Hotel in London from May 9 to 10, the annual event discussed key issues facing HR teams in the maritime industry. The conference brought together regulators, industry-renowned speakers, business leaders, and nearly 200 delegates representing shipowners, ship managers, oil companies, and other maritime employers such as classification societies and P&I clubs.
Speaking on the “Diversity and Inclusion in the Maritime Industry” panel at the conference, Alkhaldi put a spotlight on the under-representation of women in the workplace across industries, particularly in the maritime sector. Highlighting that only 2 percent of seafarers worldwide are women and less than 1 percent occupy leadership roles in the industry, he said that it has become imperative for various stakeholders in the maritime industry to step up both concerted and individual efforts to address these challenges effectively and swiftly.
“As a result of constant and deliberate efforts to raise awareness about the importance and benefits of gender balance in the workplace, policymakers and businesses in the maritime industry increasingly identify equal opportunities as a top priority today. Promoting women’s participation at work is critical not only for accelerating economic growth and sustainable development but also for driving stronger bottom-line results for businesses,” Alkhaldi said.
“Similarly, a diverse workforce will lead to higher productivity and customer loyalty, and catalyze innovation, leveraging the perspectives and experiences of employees of different nationalities, and ethnicities. As an employee-centric organization, Bahri has incorporated diversity and inclusion in its human resources policies and processes.”
Alkhaldi also shed light on Bahri’s initiatives aimed at embracing diversity and inclusion across all aspects of its business. The company has been striving to boost the participation of women in its operations, which reached 18 percent this year. Bahri has also teamed up with universities to develop programs that will help introduce students to the maritime sector and its services.
At the heart of Bahri’s diverse and inclusive workforce is its “Talent Management Framework,” which provides a clear direction for strategically attracting, sourcing, managing, developing and retaining talents in the company. The framework was recently named the “Best Recruitment & Talent Management Strategy” at the inaugural CIPD Middle East People Conference & Awards. The company had also won in the “Best Talent Development Strategy” category at the Future Workplace Awards 2018.