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


For a multinational shipping company, with employees from 55 countries and regions, 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 our Code of Conduct, policies, induction programmes, forums, seminars and training.

In 2019, 55% of the overall shore-based employees identified as male and 45% identified as female. This split has remained consistent over the past few years.

Shore-based employees by gender



Number of shore-based employees by gender and office location


The CNCo Pte Ltd Board of Directors comprises eight male members. We have two senior female managers on CNCo's Executive Leadership Team. 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 identity and other diversity metrics at all job levels within the Company.

A review by an independent contractor was carried out in 2019 to establish the baseline of our D&I performance within CNCo. Key areas of critical risk and opportunities were identified. One of the recommendations from the review was the need for a dedicated position of D&I Manager. The role was then advertised, and filled, with the D&I Manager joining the Company in December. This role is responsible for delivering the D&I Strategy for CNCo.

There were 34 (or 2.1%) female officers among our seagoing employees, which is a 79% increase from 19 in 2018 and from six in 2017. While this still remains a remarkably low number of women at sea and it is reflective of the shipping industry in general, we are very proud of the gradual increase in the number of females choosing to work for CNCo. This increase in numbers was a result of CNCo's D&I drive and IMO's initiative to promote better gender balance in the shipping industry. We will continue to encourage more women to join CNCo and promote a culture where women feel safe and are supported.

Seagoing employees by gender identity



Going forward we will continue to take more positive actions in order to increase the number of female seafarers. We are planning to progress our work with PacTowage in PNG and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). DFAT is responsible for the Australian Aid programme, in support of PNG female cadets as an avenue for attracting more women to work in the shipping industry. The 2019 batch of PNG cadets will undergo a bridging course in 2020, which has been approved by Australian Aid and PNG National Maritime Safety Authority. Once completed, cadets will undergo a structured training programme on one of our vessels.

We are members of the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA International) in Singapore and in Australia. WISTA International has a consultative status at the International Maritime Organisation and provide our female managers with the platform for industry networking and thematic events.

Managing Director's Message

We take a strong stance with respect to any form (verbal or non-verbal) 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. This is to ensure that all employees benefit from a welcoming, positive, innovative and outperforming work environment. We are committed to providing a safe environment where our colleagues are able to bring their authentic selves to work and be respected and recognised for what they do. Additionally, we provide a Confidential Reporting hotline to deal with any issues. The process is clearly defined in our Grievance and Dispute Settlement Policy which is available to all employees.


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 (whilst 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.

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 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 run online Code of Conduct and Preventing Harassment in the Global Workplace training 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.

We also aim for gender-blind recruiting, encouraging retention of females to fill more senior roles and support for their circumstances as they follow their career path to redress the imbalance at senior levels. This work is ongoing.

CNCo was notified of one potential case of discrimination or harassment in 2019. The case was investigated by CNCo's senior management and the outcome was a decision not to re-deploy the seagoing employee concerned. 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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The Company, and in particular our HR Department, continues to work on enhanced D&I strategies to better balance gender identity and other diversity metrics at all job levels within the Company.

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

CNCo is working to increase its diversity both for our shore-based and seagoing employees. When we became aware of the Australia Awards Maritime Scholarships initiative, a scholarship scheme offered only to female citizens from PNG, we saw that as an excellent opportunity that would work to deliver on greater gender balance and simultaneously raise the economic capacity in one of our key stakeholder communities in PNG. CNCo is committed to achieving greater D&I in the Company.

Five female cadets from PNG, joined MV Szechuen in Port Moresby after completing six months of cadet training at the Papua New Guinea Maritime College.

Being first-time cadets, they were taught the importance of safety awareness, a critical part of the safety culture that CNCo seeks to embed across the organisation. They learnt about the importance of every individual's effort in keeping everyone safe.

The training programme made them 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 gender.

Below: On their first deep sea vessel, MV Szechuen, the female cadets are pictured with the vessel's officers.


Photo credit: Australia Awards

Empowering Women

Swire Shipping sponsored a workshop which was organised by the Fiji Women in Maritime Association to empower women in the maritime industry to become good leaders. The workshop was named Transformational Leadership for Women and aimed to bridge the gender gap in the maritime industry. Since the maritime industry is male-dominated, CNCo has been putting in efforts to help women advance into leadership positions in the industry.

"Leadership skills training helps to build confidence and paves the way for future inspirational women leaders. By imparting such training, organisations can prepare the employees who have the potential to take up managerial roles in future. This workshop taught me how to create action plans to overcome systemic barriers, grow my leadership skills and learn negotiation skills critical for career success.

I have also learnt how to exert the power of one's voice in personal and professional settings, develop the skills of inclusive leadership, value and involve all members of the group for their unique contributions and learn to lead in the most conflicting and stressful situations," said Navita Narayan, Cost Processing Supervisor, Swire Shipping Fiji.



A Day for Women in Maritime industry

On 18th May 2019, 12 ladies from Swire Shipping Fiji participated in a panel discussion organised by the Women in Maritime (Fiji) Association. This was held in celebration of the inaugural launch of the Day for Women in Maritime around the Pacific. Topics for discussion included gender mainstreaming, practices for narrowing the gender gap in the maritime sector, leadership and fostering diversity in the workplace.

The management of Swire Shipping Fiji empowers its female employees, with 11 in the Agency holding leadership positions.