REDO 2.0 - Navigating Inclusion
A Joint Research Project for Social Sustainability at Sea
Who are we and why are we here?
Hello there! In 2017, more than a thousand women seafarers joined forces in the metoo-call #anchorsaweigh. The movement evoked a commitment from the whole Swedish shipping industry after which a joint letter of intent was signed and Fair Winds, a network that aims to change things for the better, was formed. The mission was to improve the social and organizational work environment onboard with regard to discrimination and victimization. One of the action points was to enhance knowledge on how to prevent unwelcomed conduct. This is, in short, the background of the research projects in the REDO-family. The first part, carried out in 2020-2021, was focused on women’s driving forces and obstacles in the shipping industry. What we learned from there then helped shape the basis of the REDO 2.0 project where we are convinced that safety, inclusion and motivation for all crew members, are the keys to success. By obtaining this, we can both attract and (!) keep future crews. So let's do it! The project is kindly funded by the Swedish Transport Administration's shipping portfolio and runs until December 2024.
When working at sea, the ship is both your home and your workplace. Being away from friends and family, sometimes for months at a time, presents its own challenges with difficulty withdrawing and with limited options to seek support. A healthy and good jargong and working environment on board is therefore very important and key to success!
To be comfortable in your own skin, being able to express yourself and your experiences, feelings and thoughts, being confident to ask those “stupid questions”, present new ideas and admit mistakes without risking being punished in any way, is the foundation to creating psychological safety. A safe environment is created by the individuals through how we behave towards each other, hence, we are convinced that good relations between leaders and employees/work groups are central and key to success. In a safe environment, communication can be more open and security is linked to both health and safety. Asking that one extra time when being unsure of something, reporting deviations and errors and speaking up when someone is behaving inappropriately are all part of a functioning safety work. In a workplace when mistakes happen, the most important thing is to learn something from it. This is the foundation to social sustainability.
The project aims to create insights and increased understanding of what promotes social sustainability at sea. Tangible tools and methods are being developed that can be used onboard to create a healthy social work environment. This would reduce the risk of bullying and harassment, promote inclusion and improve the jargong onboard.
To achieve good quality and to contribute to development, the transport industry in general and shipping in particular, need cognitive diversity in its approach to deal with the strategic changes we face; digitalisation, automation, recruitment, sustainability and the development of new services. The transport industry is traditionally a male-dominated field where women and other minority groups are still underrepresented. To offer all people the same influence on future development, the industry needs to ensure equal opportunities. Promoting the power of innovation requires a safe and inclusive social working environment where not only different gender, but also a variety of ethnicity and backgrounds are seen as advantageous.
By conducting an action research project with interventions between research, development, and testing, REDO 2.0 is taking big steps towards social sustainability at sea where safety, inclusion and motivation are the basis for training, new methods and tools that are aimed at managers and employees at shipping workplaces.
Led by the Research Institute of Sweden (RISE), coordinated by the Swedish Maritime Administation, and together with the project partners Sweship, Chalmers and the organization MÄN, the project contributes to creating knowledge and supporting the shipping companies' systematic work environment work through methods and tools that are adapted for onboard employees. This is done by;
Those who do not feel safe do not dare to question or speak out, which affects systematic safety work. It is about the personal security you are entitled to in a workplace and not having to find strategies for your own safety. It is also about the ship's safety where you need to utilize all the skills and all the information to make shipping as safe as possible. More research is needed on the connection between gender equality, psychological safety and maritime safety. The work is focused on training managers in support functions for increasing psychological safety on board.
We can not just react when something has happened, but need to do it before it does. Just like a fire drill! We practice for when danger comes along, not when the fire is there and it's too late. In order for today's shipping industry to be able to offer everyone a safe social work environment, more preventive work is required. Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) is built on behavioral change based on a broad definition of violence and a strategy for active by-standers. The work is focused on producing and testing educational material based on methods for violence prevention and training people who can hold training and workshops.
Based on the Swedish Work Environment Authority's regulation 2015: 4, Sweship has produced work material to be able to work systematically with organizational and social work environment. We want to provide the industry with a toolbox of different methods and tools adapted to shipping and those who work onboard. The work is focused on developing and testing new forms of learning enabled by gamification and digital tools. We will follow pilot groups and evaluate change and benefits on board.
Women at sea are a minority which makes it critical that every woman who chooses shipping can feel that support exists along the way. To explore what support can look like, we will work with Design Thinking. Through the women's network WISTA, a mentoring program is developed as part of a support structure. The work is focused on role models, mentors and networks to assist in finding viable paths in the industry and in managing challenges.
Family reasons are a common reason why women leave their career in shipping. Now more and more men are also starting to think that it is important that the puzzle of life comes together. How can we make it easier for parents and get more young people to stay in shipping? The work is focused on identifying obstacles in current legislation to find solutions and propose changes at policy level.
Kindly find a list below of things we like, friends we wish to endorse and things we simply think you should take a look at!
WE ARE EACHOTHERS WORKING ENVIRONMENT!
The project takes a big step towards more preventive work for social sustainability at sea. Based on the three cornerstones of Safety, Inclusion and Motivation, REDO 2.0 is developing methods and tools to find new ways of learning and understanding - all to contribute to shipping becoming a workplace with a good social working environment.
REDO 2.0 is based on the qualitative and quantitative studies and conclusions from the first REDO project, where the focus was on identifying and improving gender equality at sea by more women not only applying for jobs at sea, but staying working in the maritime sector once recruited. Our conclusion was that more effort is needed to increase equality and that a safer and more inclusive work environment benefits everyone, not only specific groups. Leadership and cooperation are intimately associated with the social work environment, and onboard a ship, where the hierarchy is strict, leaders tend to set the culture. We focus specifically on the leader's role, as well as the crew as a whole. Acknowledging we are each other's working environment sets the scene for how we carry out our work, which we are confident will increase the opportunities for support.
Conducted with the help of our baby project, REDO ESF, we invite you to listen to our Podcast Tied Together - A podcast that dives deeper into the concept of Social Sustainability at Sea! In these episodes you will be listening to experts and people in the shipping- and ocean industry - all TIED TOGETHER in their passion for diversity, inclusion and safety onboard!
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