Potential problems due to multinational and female gender onboard a ship and how to reduce the discrimination

Normally a person with different views and ideas is an asset.Different thinking comes with cultures,believes,languages and gender. New ideas should be welcome in a competitive environment. It is better to have different ideas than no idea at all.Therefore particular people fro other culture and women should be more than welcome in the maritime industry.
    However there are potential problems associated with employment of multicultural and women crew on board.People from different culture have their own values, perspectives and beliefs. Similarly there is a normal gender bias towards women in the maritime industry as this field is supposed to be a male dominated field. When we judge others, who we do not know, we interpret the meaning of the reason for the behavior of someone from another culture usually with emotion.The problem appear when we do not know the values,perspective and approaches used by the other culture.
  People in groups more than four tend to take their culture with them to their new environment.If there is any individual problem, this often is solved within their community. If the nationality and culture is linked to religion then religious activities are performed together.Contrary, an individual in Diaspora easily can become lonely and uncertain on what is right and what is wrong in the new environment. People can easily become upset and uncomfortable when their experiences in another culture do not match with what they have anticipated.Their stereotyping becomes disturbed.Therefore it is not surprising that every culture tends to divide people into in groups and out groups.This tendency is a quality and safety killer.
         If Companies recruit only two or three nationalities, circumstances may arise where crews may divide more strongly on lines of nationalities. And sometimes occupational hierarchies may be realigned on board to coincide with nationality rather than rank.
      Different crews coming from different nationalities speak different languages.In the time of crisis or emergency, poor communication can lead to a disastrous result. Language is a very important tool for communication.
       Now coming to gender issue. Now a days a lot of women are joining the maritime industries which were earlier supposed to be only for men. Women are known to be better leader than men.They can handle many decisions at same time and are able to make quick decisions. This criterion is not considered to be very feminine.This causes a conflict of opinion.A common male stereotyped opinion is that women should be able to discuss , only men are capable to make quick subjective decisions. To counter this stereotype, women on board the ship starts to behave like their male counterpart. There are several occasions when men, because of their preconceived notion about women, expect something from women and then she does something opposite to look alike. This causes some confusions in the organisational structure on board. Because of this women on board try to follow procedures by the book.
       Above problems can be tackled by the industry at different levels.
1) Role of senior officers:- The issue of hierarchy is significant for seafarers as they work on ship under rigid hierarchy.Crew members react to authority in the ships environment the same way they have learned in their native culture. Senior officers need to be able to consider these cultural differences in order to gain the maximum cooperation of crew.They may have to var their management style according to those they manage. They should try to build a cohesive environment on board the ship so that there is no discrimination towards anyone.

2) Shipping companies:- Companies when employing crews on board their ship should take into account their cultural background and aim in selecting nationalities that can efficiently cooperate with other in the work environment.

3) Administration:- Given the international character of the maritime industry, the reliance on voice communication from ship to ship and ship to shore, the increasing of multinational crew , and the concern that crew members should be able to communicate easily in time of crisis, adoption of a common language for maritime communication would promote safe practice by reducing the ris of human error.

4) IMO:- It should issue a publication related to socio-cultural study that could be a guide at maritime institution. Such an institution can function to develop cultural education for seafarers. This will help seafarers to assimilate different ethnic groups on board the ship.

5) Shore staff and ship staff should be educated to cope with diversion in order to manage working with and cooperate with women and with people with different ethnic and religious belongings.

6) Men and women should realize that the best solution, to the benefits of the whole, are competition on equal terms and best qualified gets the job. Only quality and capability for the job should be criteria governing work opportunity.


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