The Importance of Women in Maritime

The Importance of Women in Maritime

on April 29, 2021

The importance of diversity and the roles of women in maritime shipping is huge. Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, President of WISTA International commented : “The recognition of the vital roles women play in the maritime world have been thrown into even greater perspective by the global pandemic. The importance of the contribution everyone plays in the shipping world, the ports sector and the wider maritime industry cannot be undervalued – and women are an integral part of the solutions that the global economy needs as the slow recovery continues”.

WISTA International signs MOU with APEC Seafarers Excellence Network

The leading global body for women in the maritime world – WISTA International – has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with APEC Seafarers Excellence Network (APEC SEN) to promote and develop joint networks to support both bodies.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation for Seafarers Excellence Network (APEC SEN) is a comprehensive network that promotes the well-qualified, and efficient maritime workforce that maintains the highest standard of the professionalism and ethical conduct in the Asia region and globally.

The MoU was signed on Monday 8 March 2021 and outlines the collaborative and cooperative synergies to support the alignment to the WISTA Mission, the APEC Pillars on Empowerment of Women, and commitment to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

The objectives of this co-operation between two of the most respected groups in maritime campaigning and support are to build a community that will attract and support women in the APEC Region. They will also work together to establish a Mentor-Mentee Network that will empower future generation of maritime women professionals through mentoring seminars and/or international conference via webinars with the main focus on topics related to maritime transport.

Both bodies will work to establish participants from the National WISTA Associations (NWAs) to participate in the APEC Seafarers Excellence Network (SEN) On-Board Training to foster competent young Future Maritime Global Leaders as part of the APEC SEN project.

WISTA’s work in gender diversity and their role in supporting women in the maritime sector will be a major part of the co-operation with APEC SEN in establishing the development of a Certificate Course on Empowering Women in the global maritime industry.

Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, President of WISTA INTERNATIONAL welcomed the announcement of the MoU:

“This is a very welcome addition to the strategy we have of working with leading maritime organisations to support diversity in this vital global industry. APEC SEN has the knowledge and support of seafarers, many who are women, who recognise the need to align with other strong bodies to promote our work in shipping and other parts of the world’s maritime industry.”

Dong Jae Lee, Secretary General of APEC SEN also recognized the new partnership and its potential for diversity and growth in 2021:

“Recognizing the importance of diversity and women inclusion in the international maritime industry, the cooperation among WISTA and APEC SEN will take practical actions to draw tangible outcomes in short- and long-term perspective, by fully aligning its projects with APEC Pillars on Empowerment of Women, WISTA Mission, and commitment the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with particular focus to Goal 5.”

Women Onboard – WISTA International & Maritime SheEO Collaboration

This year- 2021 – is an important one for WISTA International and as part of the continuing drive for gender equality in the maritime world, the latest collaboration is with Maritime SheEO under the SHE of Change Campaign to drive gender equality initiatives in the maritime industry. In celebration of International Women’s Day WISTA will co-host a number of short video sessions, highlighting the role of female seafarers getting the perspective of how COVID 19 impacted them as well as views from the young women who will be the future of this sector. These informative recordings will be moderated by Sanjam Gupta, WISTA International ExCo Member and Maritime SheEO Founder based in Mumbai, India, who said: “The maritime industry needs to celebrate the contribution of women. Seafarers are the true heros and we are happy to share these stories of “women onboard” who are an essential part of the industry”.