Puget Sound Pilots (PSP), the organization representing the elite mariners required by law to guide ships in and out of Puget Sound, has established a formal maternity policy. The historic June vote means that PSP is the first pilot association on the west coast to implement a dedicated maternity plan for member pilots.
PSP’s consultation with numerous mariners around the country have clearly shown that pregnancy and childbirth is a formidable obstacle to those pursuing a sea-going career. PSP believes a strong maternity policy will help to achieve its DEI goal of establishing safe, inclusive, and equitable pathways for a career in pilotage.
The new policy seeks to encourage gender diversity in pilotage by providing extended medical leave for persons bearing children by allowing them to combine PSP’s generous major medical leave policy with the new maternity rule. The rule also seeks to prioritize mariner safety. Marine pilotage is a rewarding but dangerous occupation requiring over water ship-to-ship transfers on precarious ladders and gangways, at all times of day, and in dangerous weather conditions and sea states.