Associated Icelandic Ports, or Faxaports, the company that manages a number of major ports in Reykjavík and West Iceland, has signed a contract with the Technical College in which both parties have agreed to take concrete steps towards establishing gender equity within the fields of marine engineering and navigation.
Reykjavík’s Technical College currently offers marine captain, master of ships, and marine engineering study programmes. Faxaports is the largest port company in Iceland, “the main gateway for import to Iceland and export from the country,” as director Gísli Gíslason told espo.be, and “…handles 100,000 tons of fish, 330,000 TEU and 190,000 cruise passengers” per year. Both parties see the establishment of gender parity in the marine industry as being in their mutual interest and have committed to work together to reach this goal.
Among other things, Faxaport will make jobs in its harbour facilities more accessible to women. It will hire two women studying ship captaincy to work in its ports during the summer months each year, which will give them practical, hands-on training and experience in their chosen fields and make efforts to find summer work for women students of marine engineering in its facilities.
The Technical College will make concerted efforts to encourage women to enter marine industry study programs and will assist with education, retraining, and professional development in marine engineering and ship captaincy among Faxaport’s current staff. Additionally, Faxaport and the Technical College will establish an award to recognise a woman, or women, who are studying in a marine-related study programme.
In so doing, both parties hope to make marine captaincy and engineering “more accessible and interesting to women.”