Diversity in the Workplace / Anti-discrimination and Anti-harassment


For a multinational shipping company, with employees from 48 countries, having an inclusive, cohesive and supportive culture is key to our continued sustainability. We create a welcoming, positive, innovative and high performing work environment by promoting equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion and respect in the workplace. This is done through policies, Code of Conduct, induction programmes, forums, seminars and training.

In 2018, 54% of the overall shore-based employees were males and 46% were females. This split has remained consistent over the past few years.

Managing Director's Message
Managing Director's Message

The CNCo Pte Ltd Board of Directors comprises nine male members. We have two senior female managers who sit on CNCo’s Executive Committee. While it is worth noting that gender diversity has historically always been skewed in the shipping sector, we recognise this as a challenge and a potential detriment. The Company, and in particular our HR Department, continues to work on enhanced D&I strategies to better balance gender diversity at all job levels within the Company. We are planning to focus more on this D&I area in 2019.

There were 19 (or 1.2%) female officers among our seagoing employees, an increase from six in 2017. This remarkably low number of women at sea is reflective of the shipping industry (excluding the cruise sector) in general. We seek to encourage more women to join CNCo, and created of a culture where women feel safe and are supported.

In addition to our clear and explicit policies on equal opportunities and anti-harassment, we provide a Confidential Reporting hotline to deal with any issues, but we recognise that these passive or reactive policies and procedures are not enough.

Going forward we must take more positive action and we worked with PacTowage in PNG and The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) responsible for the Australian Aid programme, to support a group of 20 PNG female cadets in 2018 as a start in attracting more women to work in the shipping industry.

Number of shore-based employees by gender and region


We take a strong stance with respect to any form of harassment in the workplace. We have a robust system in place to address any such reported situations in a timely manner. We have in place a D&I Policy, a Respect in the Workplace Policy as well as our Code of Conduct, all of which further embed diversity and equality of treatment and opportunity into all our operations to ensure that all employees benefit from a welcoming, positive, innovative and out-performing work environment. We are committed to providing a safe environment where all our people are able to bring their authentic selves to work and be respected and recognised for what they do.

A diverse workforce is one whose members are not discriminated against. Accordingly, we require full compliance with applicable employment and other laws and will not tolerate unlawful discrimination* or harassment or any other breaches of applicable law. Our equal opportunities practices commit us to ensuring there is no unjustified discrimination in the recruitment, retention, skills training and competence development of our employees on the basis of aspects including: age, disability, ethnicity or ancestry, family responsibilities, gender identity, language (while noting that proficiency in the English language is a legal requirement of the marine industry), marital status including civil partnerships, nationality, political views, pregnancy, race, religious beliefs or creeds, or sexual orientation.

*Decisions become a form of unlawful discrimination when race, creed, national origin, ethnicity, or gender cause one person to be treated differently than another. Some states have laws that also protect against discrimination on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation. These are called protected classes. There are some established cases of “lawful discrimination”, e.g. convicted embezzlers being considered for accounting roles, unfit candidates for fire-fighters, “tall” people as cabin crew on Dornier 328 aircraft, etc.

In 2018 CNCo joined Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) Singapore chapter as a corporate member to provide our female managers with the platform for industry networking and thematic events. WISTA has a consultative status at the International Maritime Organisation.

CNCo aims to have a workforce that, as far as practical, reflects the diversity of the stakeholder communities in which our business units operate worldwide.

As an Equal Opportunity employer, we ensure that there is no instance of men and women with the same competence and / or experience being paid different rates for performing the same work. Salaries are set by our internal Compensation and Benefits Department, and are in accordance with local geographical market guidelines to enable us to both attract and retain the best talent. Executive pay is determined after discussions with external consultants, and are evaluations utilise benchmarked data from similar organisations. CNCo does not provide performance-based pay, equity or shares as part of its remuneration packages regardless of seniority. Bonuses are awarded for performance on a discretionary but equitable basis. Pensions are provided, as a minimum as per statutory requirements. For seagoing employees, all contractual conditions are, as a minimum, in accordance with the ILO MLC 2006.

As part of CNCo’s annual training programme for all shore-based employees, we conduct Code of Conduct and Preventing Harassment in the Global Workplace courses. These courses set out CNCo’s values, principles and commitment to compliance with applicable laws and aim to help employees deal with any ethical dilemmas that they may encounter in their everyday work.

CNCo was notified of two claimed cases of discrimination or harassment in 2018 through our Confide Line (for shore-based employees). All cases were immediately investigated by Senior CNCo Management and treated with utmost confidence. CNCo has solid systems and processes in place to deal with any alleged and actual situations, leading to a culture which is free of discrimination and harassment.

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We create a welcoming, positive, innovative and high performing work environment by promoting equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion and respect in the workplace.

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CNCo welcomes its first batch of female cadets from Papua New Guinea

CNCo welcomed its first batch of female cadets, comprising five deck cadets and five engine cadets, from Papua New Guinea (PNG) in October 2018, as part of its efforts to develop local talent and improve gender diversity of its workforce.

On 28th October 2018, the deck cadets joined their first deep sea vessel, MV Szechuen, at Port Moresby. Having recently completed their basic training course, the deck cadets will undergo a four-month basic training tour supervised by a dedicated Cadet Training Officer upon joining MV Szechuen. The engine cadets are expected to join their first vessel in early 2019.

Developing local talent

Alistair Skingley, Country Manager of PNG and Solomon Islands, said, “CNCo currently employs approximately 100 seafarers from PNG across our fleet. Over the years, we have invested in their training and development so that they can grow their competencies and reach their full potential. We believe in the development of local talent and helping the communities in which we operate to thrive.”

Improving gender diversity

Traditionally, the maritime industry has been male-dominated; women make up an estimated 2% of the world’s maritime workforce, of which 94% work in the cruise and ferries sector. In 2017, there were seven (or 0.3%) female officers among CNCo’s sea staff. For many years, to encourage more females to join CNCo, the Company has had a gender-blind employment process supported by the creation of a culture where women feel safe and are supported.

Simon Bennett, General Manager of Sustainable Development, said, “CNCo has been working to increase its diversity both for our shore staff (aiming for more gender balance at senior and junior levels) and sea staff for some time.”

“Working to achieve more diversity and inclusion in our company is a key target for us going forward, and we look forward to expanding this programme, once it has been shown to successfully mature,” added Mr Bennett.

All cadets graduated from PNG Maritime College in Madang, Papua New Guinea, and are recipients of the Australia Awards Maritime Scholarships. Prior to joining the vessel, they went through a three-day Safety Awareness Course conducted by CNCo’s Safety and Training Manager to familiarise themselves with company-specific safety policies and procedures. The cadets have obtained their Certificate of Competence and will be qualified to serve as watch keeping officers after gaining their mandatory sea time with CNCo’s vessels.

CNCo's first batch of female cadets from PNG share their views

Being first-time cadets, we were taught the importance of safety awareness, a critical part of the safety culture that CNCo seeks to embed across the organisation. We learnt about safety through a variety of ways: through lectures, observations of shipboard activities and practical assessments. We learnt about the importance of every individual’s effort in keeping everyone safe.

The training programme has made us realise that in this profession, learning is very much an ongoing process and there is much knowledge to be gained. Seafaring as a career can be both challenging and exciting, regardless of your gender. As the first female cadets from our country, we are honoured and at the same time, aware of the tremendous responsibility we have in representing PNG. We aim to be become strong and competent officers, fuelled by excellence and a commitment to safety.


On their first deep sea vessel, MV Szechuen, the female cadets are pictured with the vessel’s officers.
Photo credit: Australia Awards


Five female cadets from Papua New Guinea crossing the equator on MV Szechuen.

Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA)

The Swire Shipping team in Australia has signed on as the first sponsor for 2019 for Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) Australia.

WISTA Australia is a non-profit organisation established in 2011 for women within the shipping and trade sectors to promote networking and educational opportunities for female participants in these industries for the betterment of the Australian and international trade. Its aim is to provide an alternative networking, mentoring and educational opportunity to women within these sectors. WISTA Australia is in turn a member of and guided by WISTA International.

Said Peta Kelly, Manager, Customer Service, Swire Shipping, “We are very pleased to be a 2019 WISTA Australia Silver Sponsor and in turn support the valuable work being undertaken in promoting greater diversity in the maritime and trade sectors."

Managing Director's Message