The Columbia Group, which includes Columbia Shipmanagement, has launched a mentoring program aimed at attracting more women into the maritime sector. The program is part of the group’s commitment to creating a more diverse workforce and aims to not only attract more female cadets but also help retain them in the industry. The program will provide emotional support and encouragement to female cadets, addressing career challenges such as work-life balance. The group hopes that by changing the culture surrounding women in the industry, they can attract and widen the pool of talent. Evidence from a 2019 Solent University Report suggests that mentoring schemes can reduce costs related to health and safety and decrease staff turnover.
The program will be facilitated by corporate wellbeing provider OneCare Solutions (OCS), who will train senior female colleagues to become mentors. These mentors will be assigned to female cadets for their entire 12 months of sea service and will be trained to handle situations such as sexual harassment and bullying. To ensure the success of the program, Columbia Group is seeking the support of mentors and captains. Captains of vessels with female cadets will receive contact details for the cadets’ mentors, encouraging communication between them. The program aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for cadets to seek advice and develop the skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers.
Overall, the Columbia Group’s mentoring program aims to attract and retain more women in the maritime sector. By changing the industry’s culture surrounding women and providing emotional support and encouragement, the group hopes to widen the pool of talent in the industry. The program will be facilitated by OneCare Solutions, who will train mentors to handle situations such as sexual harassment and bullying. The program seeks the support of mentors and captains to ensure its success. Through the program, female cadets will have a safe and supportive environment to seek advice and develop the skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers.