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Title: Female participation in Malta’s maritime transport industry : prospects and challenges
Authors: Farrugia, Gabriella
Keywords: Women -- Employment -- Malta
Shipping -- Malta
Stereotypes (Social psychology) -- Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: The main aim of this qualitative research study, which focuses on Malta’s Maritime Transport Industry, is to find out what hinders Maltese females from working in specific areas which are related to seafaring and port operations within the local labour market and ultimately to be able to identify the core issues inducing low female employment rates within the sector. Moreover, it aims to provide society and the central administration with concrete feedback on the situation and possibly helping competent authorities in the development of an achievable and measurable action plan. The study uses the gendered lens to look at the prospects and challenges of the industry and builds on Moser’s Gender Planning and Development Theoretical Framework (Moser, 1993). The research adopts an interpretive approach and is based on nine in-depth one-to-one interviews with six female participants, who are active/inactive employees within the Maritime Industry and three male participants who represent policymakers, social partners and stakeholders. The themes emerging from the data collected were analysed using Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). This research highlights how in the 21st century, gender stereotyping in Malta’s Maritime Transport Industry still prevails and is strongly influenced by religious, traditional, cultural and societal customs. These factors are instilled in the culture and somehow it is thought that women are less capable to perform and deliver at par level with men. Elements of discrimination, bullying and harassment are experiences commonly encountered by most females in the industry at certain points in their careers. This research demonstrates how the occurrence of discrimination and bullying was very explicit and mostly prominent amongst seafarers. Apart from the fact that the number of females accessing the industry is already very low, it transpires that most females in the industry put a halt to their career and abandon the industry in lieu for motherhood. This research shows how education can be a very important tool to attract the right pool of human resources to the industry, including women, and also how the salary offered by the industry can, at times, appear either as an opportunity and/or a limitation since the conditions of work for seafaring and port operations differ. Overall, the attitudes and perceptions about females in Malta’s Maritime Transport Industry seem to revolve around Moser’s (1993) concept of the ‘Women’s Triple Role’ which implies that women have three roles; reproduction, production and community management mostly influenced by traditional values. The latter values have been embedded in the day-to-day work practices of the industry mostly seafaring and port operations.
Description: B.WORK&H.R.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - CenLS - 2017

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