Reducing inequalities in the cruse ship industry

Racial differences in the workplace still remains a critical issue for a lot of industries4. Racial inequalities prevents some people to access development careers opportunities, better paid jobs and resources and ultimately creating a glass ceiling effect4.

The cruise ship industry has been historically dominated by men regarding both junior and management positions3. This means that women had less chances to enter this industry and advance in their careers. Moreover, it has not been very diverse in its workforce3. Cruise ships passengers are usually various and they are coming from different countries. Therefore, having a different crew would be a huge advantage for efficiency in problem solving related to customers and improving their experience3. However, in the last years, people coming from different continents have started entering the industry3. Thus, workforce diversity became one of the main characteristics of cruise ships crews3.

Nevertheless, much can still be done in the cruise ships industry in order to reach workforce racial equality.

Let's examine a real-world example.

Carnival Corporation is a company operating in the cruise industry, mainly in North America, Europe and Asia5. The main quarter is in Miami, Florida, but it also has premises in the United Kingdom5.

The company owns around 105 ships which can carry 12 million passengers8. In 2019, the company's revenues were 21$ billion of which 3$ billion represented net income8.

During 2019, Carnival employed around 92.000 people spread among their ships5. The workforce represents 150 different countries resulting in a highly diverse crew1. In 2019 1.7% of Carnival's employees came from Africa, 71.7% from Asia, 0.5% from Australia, 17.7% from Europe, 4.2% from North and Central America, and 3.2% from South America1. These data all decreased from 2017 even though the employees' number increased1. In 2019, the company received many distinct awards relating to diversity on the workplace such as America’s best larger employer and America’s best employer for diversity by Forbes media for four consecutive years2. In 2019, Carnival Corporation decided to adopt and uniform its internal policies to the United Nations Standards of Conduct for Business which includes rules and practices about diversity in the workplace6.

Regarding Carnival's most significant competitors, RCL corporate employs around 77.000 people coming from 126 countries6 and MSC has 2608 shoreside employees from 124 countries7.

When comparing diversity of the workforce, it is safe to assume that the number of countries represented by Carnival's employees is in line and above the trends of its competitors. This means that Carnival Corporation has more employees coming from different countries compared to its world peers.

However, the company should increase its efforts to have a more homogeneous crew. Analysing the numbers, 71.7% of employees come from Asia while only 0.5% of them is coming from Australia1. These data seem to suggest that Carnival Corporation is relatively more incline to employ people from Asia rather than coming from other countries.

Due to its prominent role in the industry, Carnival Corporation should lead by example and increase the efforts to reach a more similar proportion of countries represented in its crew.

By doing so, the company will contribute to increase diversity in its workforce and in the industry, also reducing the glass ceiling effect.











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