International Maritime Organization (IMO) World Maritime Day was celebrated on 26 September, with the 2019 theme “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community“, says an article published in The Maritime Executive.
Under utilized women contribution
This raises awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with
- the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and
- highlights the important yet under-utilized contribution of women within the maritime sector.
Diversity is Inclusive culture
Höegh Autoliners, which will increase its Europe-Australia service from four to five a month from November in response to a growing demand from the breakbulk, outsize and automobile sectors, says it believes diversity is about having an inclusive culture “where everyone feels welcome, is treated with respect, receives equal pay for equal work and is given equal opportunities”.
With only two percent of women in the maritime industry employed as seafarers, Monalisa Alejandrino was one of the first female cadets employed by Höegh Fleet Services Philippines in 2008.
This April she became the company’s first female Chief Officer: “There was no secret to how I got to be where I am now. All I did was give my best in everything I do. And now, my goal is to inspire other female seafarers to believe in themselves. Because, if men can do it, so can we,” she declared.
What is WISTA?
Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) promotes diversity in the maritime, trading and logistics sectors.
WISTA‘s vision is to empower women to lead, with the conviction that gender diversity is key in providing a sustainable future for the shipping industry internationally.
Members of WISTA
Some 3,000 female professionals form the majority of WISTA members, however male members are also accepted is several national WISTA Associations, like in Norway.
Pia Meling, President of WISTA Norway says:
“To bring the discussion on gender equality and diversity from the problem definition phase to finding good solutions, we need to invite men to the table – and especially the male leaders of our industry. WISTA Norway therefore encourages both female and male maritime professionals to become members, the main criteria being they want to drive diversity.
We are pleased to announce that Craig Jasienski, CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen, is now a WISTA member. WISTA Norway looks forward to a close cooperation with Craig and Wallenius Wilhelmsen so that we together can attract, retain and empower more females in the maritime industry. “
Craig Jasienski, President & CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen, says:
“To build a sustainable future of shipping and logistics, we need to bring together diverse views, experiences and perspectives in a workplace where everyone can thrive. I hope to see many more men join me as members of WISTA, to join the conversation and together build a truly inclusive industry.”
Status of WISTA at IMO
WISTA has a consultative status at IMO and has since its inception in 1974 participated in a number of global initiatives aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in the shipping industry.
WISTA has partnered with organizations like the
- European Commission,
- International Chamber of Shipping,
- World Maritime University,
- the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and
- YoungShip to increase women’s participation in the maritime industry in line with the UN’s sustainable Development Goal 5.
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