Our employees form one of our five Core Values at Maersk. That’s why it is important to us to create a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone to be their best and most authentic selves, encompassing all aspects of our social identities, from age and disability, to gender, nationality and religion.

Maersk Supply Service is a global company operating around the world, with 10 regional offices, 1,300 employees and 27 nationalities represented among our staff.  The benefits of this global community are clear: having a diverse workforce creates a collective awareness and empathy, where our broad palette of perspectives, experiences and cultures helps to constantly innovate and transform the work we do.

“Diversity is vital to us in fostering innovation and creativity and challenging us to forge new ways of thinking – and the benefits of a diverse workforce go both ways. When we create a truly inclusive environment in which everyone is valued for who they are, it enables everyone to reach their potential and contribute fully. We all participate in that shared success,” says Steen S. Karstensen, Chief Executive Officer at Maersk Supply Service.

Voices from around the world

One of the ways in which Maersk Supply Service is striving to create an inclusive professional community is by creating a supportive environment for employees of all nationalities and cultures. We spoke to five colleagues, each of whom identified the ways in which they felt the workplace culture had created a welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment.

Open-door culture, onshore and offshore

Acting with constant care is embedded in the culture of Maersk Supply Service, so an ethos of approachable leadership is very important for all our staff – but perhaps especially for our offshore crew, since creating a fully supportive, inclusive and respectful working environment is core to the crew’s safety. As the captain of a vessel with 15 different nationalities represented among the crew, Captain Flemming Bang, who is a Dane himself, notes that:

Diversity and Inclusion is a very important topic and something we build into our regular safety meetings. Ultimately, we are all professionals, so there is already a foundation of respect from the outset, but more subtle things require more attention and sensitivity, for example different senses of humour from different cultures. So we do have discussions around questions of tone and how we talk to each other. We also have an open-door culture to make it easier for people to come and talk to you if there’s a problem. It’s important people feel able to speak up, so I always want to be approachable.”

This chimes with Fernanda Virgínio, a Brazilian national now working as an Operations Manager at the Danish HQ in Lyngby. Speaking of her time working aboard Maersk Supply Service vessels, she says:

“When I worked offshore, we had an extremely supportive environment and crew… I never saw myself as a minority onboard the vessel and I never felt treated differently.”

Captain Flemming Bang, Master MSS Maersk Inventor, and Fernanda Virgínio, Operations Manager

A flat structure

This egalitarian culture is very much mirrored in the onshore offices, where colleagues found that the less hierarchical approach made it easier for them to contribute fully and be heard. According to Stamela Skreta, a Senior Finance Controller from Greece:

“The Danish work environment is flatter: you feel at ease working directly with the CFO or CEO and reaching out to people, so there is not really a barrier.”

Gyanendra Sahu, an IFS Solution Architect and Indian national, agrees, saying:

“Working at MSS was the first time that I met any COO, CFO or CEO face-to-face. This was a memorable experience for me…It’s really nice that we can just smile and talk together.”

Stamela Skreta, Senior Finance Controller, Gyanendra Sahu, IFS Solution Architect, and Ushma Ahuja, Environmental Manager

Convivial atmosphere

Maersk Supply Service is proud of its employees, and the communal culture they have shaped by embracing diversity and inclusion in a very human and tangible way. For example, Captain F. Bang recounted the ship’s chef amending a meal schedule to enable their Muslim crew members to celebrate Ramadan.

Working in the Danish HQ in Lyngby, Ushma Ahuja, an Environmental Manager who is of Indian nationality, adds:

“People have been very warm and welcoming, and I have found the Danish way of working to be very open minded. It gives you a lot of freedom to explore and do your own bit. At the end of the day, the people who I interacted with were all so warm that I felt I was at the right place.” 

Diversity and Inclusion is important for many reasons: safety, mutual respect, collaborative success and innovative thinking – but on a more basic level, it also creates a positive shared human experience. And while there is always more to be done, at Maersk Supply Service, there is certainly the will to do it.

Read more about Diversity and Inclusion Maersk Supply Service, including our policies and commitments and the Charter for More Women in Shipping.

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