Maritime Gender Equality

The United Nations seeks to empower women and advance gender equity in the industry. By encouraging partnerships with maritime associations, educational institutions, and corporate America, the UN has established objectives for achieving balance.

Surprisingly, one maritime group is ahead of the curve in hiring parity. Riverboat casinos and other water-based casinos are largely gender-balanced because gaming boards require casinos like to adhere to equitable hiring practices.

More than 750,000 casino workers provide services to more than 1,000 land- and water-based establishments in 40 states. These women and men are spearheading a thriving segment of the economy.

In August, at a virtual conference on empowering women, maritime leaders encouraged a balanced workforce for oceanic and seafaring positions. For nearly 30 years, less than 2 percent of women chose seafaring careers. Working in collaboration with industry leaders, the UN aims to improve on these statistics through education.

Lack of data is one barrier to overcoming gender-related challenges in the industry. In 1983, women represented only 3 percent of maritime students. Since 2015, those numbers have increased significantly, and some programs enjoy a good ratio of male to female maritime students.


As partners with the International Maritime Organization, UN objectives align with educational goals for empowering women and achieving equality between the genders. By working toward these objectives, IMO and the UN plan to assess gender impacts and balance information about maritime opportunities.

Maritime industries have experienced significant improvement in moving toward gender equality. Water-based casinos are leading the way by recruiting qualified applicants from a variety of backgrounds, ensuring gender parity.