Domestic liner Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has emerged as a pioneer among top Indian fleet owners when it comes to hiring women in key roles on ships with over 20 per cent women workforce and a robust gender-neutral hiring policy in place.

Incidentally, SCI — which owns and operates around one-third of the Indian tonnage and has operating interests in practically all areas of the shipping business, servicing both national and international trades — has at its helm a woman as the chairperson and managing director, H K Joshi.

Of the total 646 employees, 135 are women.

“SCI has been the pioneer in India with regards to recruiting women for jobs on board its fleet. Presently, two masters, five chief officers, two second engineers, 31 second/third officers, six third/fourth engineers and two nurses are women serving on various types of ships,” as per the annual report of the Navratna public sector enterprise.

In addition, there are 13 women trainee nautical officers, four woman trainee marine engineers and seven woman trainee electrical engineers.

The company is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity and strives to provide employees with a workplace free of discrimination, the report said.

All HR activities of recruitment, placement, promotion, transfer, separation, compensation benefits and training ensure equal opportunities for skill enhancement and career progression, it said.

“Company’s efforts are reflected in the representation of women across various hierarchical grades. At present, women constitute around 20.54 per cent of total workforce at shore establishments of your company,” SCI said.

SCI encourages active involvement in the activities of the Forum of Women in Public Sector (WIPS) since its inception, it said.

WIPS, under the aegis of SCOPE, had appreciated company’s efforts by conferring the “Best Enterprise for Contribution Towards Women’s Upliftment Prize” under the Navratna Category, the report said.

It has also won laurels from various maritime bodies including from the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) for “employing the highest number of women seafarers on merchant ships“.

SCI said it has introduced gender sensitisation to all the seafarers joining the vessel. Special briefing is being imparted to all women joining the vessel by nominating lady officers of the corporation, it added.

A special lecture on gender sensitisation was also introduced in Shipboard Orientation Workshop to bring home the point and make seafarers aware of the gender equality, the report said.

“SCI has always supported diversity particularly with regard to women seafarers. Besides giving training to the women trainee officers at discounted rates at its training institute at MTI, all officers joining the vessels are also being sensitised towards work ethics while dealing with women at work place,” it said.

As part of internal initiatives to promote inclusive workplace ashore and on-board vessels, SCI has also started counselling all women seafarers with respect to sexual harassment at workplace prior to joining a vessel, it said.

Its chief H K Joshi was recently conferred with ‘CEO with HR Orientation Award’ at the World HRD Congress 2020 and with ‘Sailor Today Sea Shore Awards 2019’ under the category of “Woman of Substance”. She was also honoured with the ‘Best Woman Employee’ award by the Forum of Women in Public Sector.

Joshi had joined SCI in February 2015 as Director (Finance) and was also appointed as CFO. During her term lasting less than five years, she held multiple additional charges from time to time at the board level — Director (Personnel & Administration) in 2017-18, Director (Bulk Carrier & Tankers) in 2019 and CMD from September 2019.

Prior to SCI, she had rich and diversified experience spanning over three decades with Maharatna PSU ONGC including two decades with ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), which looks after the international business acquisitions of ONGC.

At OVL, she was actively associated with the path-breaking international transactions which led the company to turnaround.

Starting out as a marginal liner shipping company with only 19 vessels, SCI evolved into the largest Indian shipping company.

SCI is the only Indian shipping company engaged in transportation of LNG, a vital fuel for India’s power plant and chemical/petrochemical industry.

It has a fleet strength of 59 vessels at present and is the largest Indian shipping company catering to the overseas and coastal transportation of goods.

The company said it has over the years successfully retained its numero uno position in Indian shipping and has been a frontrunner in terms of growth, diversification and replenishment of its tonnage.

Source:-Hellenic Shipping News