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Encouraging women to join maritime

women captain

The IMO and the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA International) launch Women in Maritime Survey 2021

Both the IMO and WISTA recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote greater diversity and inclusion by using enhanced cooperation activities in the maritime sector. The survey is part of a series of activities to explore how a more diverse workforce within the maritime sector can be developed. The survey will also examine the proportion and distribution of women in the maritime sector – from support roles to executive level positions. The results from the survey will help build a picture of diversity and gender equality in the industry.

Gender diversity in maritime
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “Diversity in maritime matters. Empowering women fuels thriving economies across the world, spurs growth and development, and benefits everyone working in the global maritime community and beyond. We need solid data on female participation, as this will enable us to track and quantify our ambitions in what has traditionally been a male-dominated sector.”

Commenting on the usability of the results, Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, president of WISTA International remarked, “Having comparable data is a key component when creating programs and proposing policies that will increase the participation of women in maritime. It is an essential step forward in creating a more diverse and inclusive environment in our sector. With our global reach, we can amplify the strength of this survey to show real results and back our drive towards an inclusive maritime sector.”

Other initiatives under the IMO-WISTA MoU include the development of a database comprising female experts in various maritime subjects available for speaking engagements. Additionally, the IMO-WISTA MoU also hopes to enhance cooperation and share best practices between the IMO-established regional Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs) and WISTA International’s National WISTA Associations (NWAs).

The survey is open to IMO Member States, IGOs, NGOs, public and private companies in the maritime sector and maritime training establishments. There are two separate surveys to be completed by the Member States and industry. The 2021 inaugural survey conducted by IHS Markit on behalf of IMO, will be repeated every three years. The aim is to support implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 5 on gender equality, SDG 8 on decent work, and SDG 17 on partnerships.


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