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Royal Fleet Auxiliary supports Women in Maritime Charter

20 September 2018
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) and the Royal Navy are supporting a maritime-industry led taskforce who are addressing the lack of gender diversity in the UK maritime sector.

The ‘Women in Maritime Charter’ is being launched during Maritime UK Week with over 60 maritime companies based in shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine, committed to improve the gender balance across their maritime industry.

On the whole currently only 3% of seafarers globally are women, but the RFA and Royal Navy employ much higher percentages of women with 7% and 10% respectively.

Lending her support to the Task Force is Chief Officer Susan Cloggie-Holden, who, with 18 years experience in the RFA, recently brought RFA Tidespring, the new replenishment ship for the new aircraft carriers, into Falmouth for the first time. Susan is using her experience working in the military environment, which has a strong reputation for equal opportunities and promoting gender-positive policies, to encourage similar practices in the merchant navy and marine industry.

The RFA is more varied and more of a challenge than the traditional Merchant Navy. On one trip you could be in the Caribbean helping with disaster relief, and the next one in the Gulf supporting the mine countermeasure fleet.

Chief Officer Susan Cloggie-Holden

Chief Officer Susan Cloggie-Holden, RFA, said:

"The Charter will make women lives in the maritime industry better, and help us get the support and resources that we need. A key thing is to open the eyes of seafarers to opportunities on shore, so if they want to settle down they can remain in the industry and use their skills. The industry is huge and there are so many opportunities across services, shipping and leisure."

Susan described why she sees the RFA as a good career choice:

"I joined the RFA as I was looking at a career in the Merchant Navy but I wanted the excitement of working with the military and enabling them to do their role. The RFA is more varied and more of a challenge than the traditional Merchant Navy. On one trip you could be in the Caribbean helping with disaster relief, and the next one in the Gulf supporting the mine countermeasure fleet."

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