‘Shescape’ isn’t just about the Royal Navy though – the Merchant Navy is in fact the film’s main theme, both here and abroad. We talked to Dr Kate Pike (picture), who runs Southampton Solent University’s GEM project – ‘Gender, Empowerment and Multicultural Crews’. She stresses that getting more women into seafaring careers needs the support of shipping companies. One such coming right into bat is the giant Maersk, whose shops can be found wherever there’s water to float them. The aim of the GEM project is to examine seafarers’ welfare, with a special focus on gender issues arising from multi-cultural crews and isolation. The GEM team hope that their research and data findings will make it easier to support women in seafaring. There’s some way to go, with low numbers and issues of harassment and bullying to sort out too.