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gender balance
Gender equality
Women in Maritime
LISW 2019 WISTA UK Networking Event in the News
September 13, 2019
abp-chief-hr-officer-alison-WISTA UK networking evening

Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s largest port operator, teamed up with the Women in International Shipping and Trade Association (WISTA UK) to organize a reception to promote the ongoing effort to drive gender diversity across the maritime industry.

The event celebrated the progress made to date and discussed ways to accelerate this momentum, it said.

Set in London’s iconic City Hall building during the first day of London International Shipping Week (LISW), London’s premier shipping industry conference, the event attracted many leaders from the fields of business, journalism and politics.

Highlights of the event included keynote speeches by the Deputy Director for Maritime Strategy and Program, Petra Wilkinson CBE, ABP’s Chief HR Officer, Alison Rumsey and WISTA UK President, Sue Terpilowski.

Emphasizing ABP’s commitment to diversity, ABP’s Chief HR Officer, Alison Rumsey, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with WISTA UK to promote diversity and inclusion in the maritime industry.”

“Diversity is of paramount importance to ABP. We fundamentally believe that organisations are much stronger when different voices are heard and points of view are listened to. As part of our commitment, we worked with Maritime UK to launch the Women in Maritime Taskforce Charter in September 2018, to which more than 110 companies are currently signed up, pledging their commitment to achieving greater gender diversity,” Rumsey added.

Guests were also able to see a stand exhibiting the new range of exclusive women’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which ABP became the first operator to launch in July 2019.

In addition, Anchor Safety, the company which worked with ABP to design and produce the new range, were available to answer any questions and share advice and best practice with other companies interested in following ABP’s positive example.

During the previous session of LISW in 2017, ABP and WISTA UK collaborated to run a similar event which many leaders in industry attended, which helped lay the foundations for current initiatives.

Speaking about the significance of the event, Sue Terpilowski, said: “We were excited to team up with ABP for a second time during LISW to promote the importance of better career opportunities for women in our industry.

“While a lot has been achieved since the last time we stood at the top of City Hall in 2017, including the establishment of the Women in Maritime Taskforce and an online speaker bank made up of women who are experts in their fields, we have more work to do. That is why we look forward to working with organisations in the sector to push for even greater strides in the right direction,” Terpilowski added.



Launching two brand new initiatives aimed at boosting gender diversity within the maritime sector
March 8, 2019

Maritime UK and WISTA UK makes a splash on International Women’s Day by launching two brand new initiatives aimed at boosting gender diversity within the maritime sector

  • Maritime UK’s Women in Maritime Taskforce will meet in Belfast today to launch two new initiatives to help improve the sector’s gender diversity.
  • The Taskforce will be launching a “Speaker Bank”, which will provide a database of female speakers to panels and conferences and an “Interview Pool”, which will loan maritime women to other companies, enabling greater diversity on interview panels.
  • The resources, which will be the first of their kind, aim to respond to challenges identified by the Taskforce’s work.
  • Traditionally the maritime sector has been a classically male-dominated industry

8th March, Belfast – Maritime UK, the voice of the maritime sector, and its Women in Maritime Taskforce will be celebrating International Women’s Day with a reception at Belfast Harbour to mark the launch of two new resources aimed at promoting gender diversity within the maritime sector.

The reception will also provide an opportunity for Northern Ireland companies to sign up to the Women in Maritime Pledge, which states: “We are committed to building an employment culture that actively supports and celebrates gender diversity, at all levels, throughout our organisation and our industry.” Since launching, over 100 companies have signed the pledge.

Maritime UK established its Women in Maritime Taskforce last year to address fairness, equality and inclusion within the maritime sector. The Taskforce brings together leaders from across the maritime sector to identify practical steps to increase the number of women in maritime, and crucially within senior roles across its shipping, ports, services, engineering and leisure marine industries.

The two new resources have been created to respond to specific challenges companies have raised in their mission to improve diversity. Namely, too few women speakers at industry conferences and a lack of gender diversity in new recruits.

The first resource is a ‘Speaker Bank’ comprising women speakers. The initiative will provide a database of women speakers for panels and conferences. Through its work, the Taskforce heard that many conference organisers claimed that they were unable to identify women to speak on a relevant topic at events. The speaker bank will tag speakers with areas of expertise. The organisers of London International Shipping Week have committed to promoting the speaker bank to those organising events during the week.

Maritime UK will also be organising a series of public speaking workshops to help support more women to join the speaker bank.

The second resource will be an “Interview Pool”, which will loan maritime women to companies that may lack diversity on interview panels. Research by the Taskforce identified that more diverse interview panels or panels with HR professionals with diversity training are more likely to recruit a diverse workforce. However, a number of smaller companies in particular highlighted that they do not have access to such recruiters within their staff. The interview pool will provide a facility for these companies to access relevant skills and expertise.

Sue Terpilowski OBE, Chair of the Taskforce, said:

“By taking this proactive approach of helping organisers to find speakers through our pool we believe we are solving a problem. We knew there were qualified and experienced women within the industry who would enhance any panel, finding them was the issue. So now, there should be no excuses not to have gender balanced panels. This will not only enable the audience to gain a good broad insight into the issues being discussed but clearly also shows that women are making an impact within the industry and are good role models to everyone.”

Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani, said:

“I want to see more women enjoy a career at sea or on shore. Recruitment can often be the first point candidates encounter the maritime sector, and it is vital our ambition for greater diversity is reflected at this stage.

“This is just one example of the fantastic progress being made by the Women in Maritime Taskforce to open up this industry to everyone, no matter their gender or background.”

Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK said:

“I am delighted that the Taskforce is producing such tangible results. Diversity is incredibly important to our sector. Today we miss out on huge talent and diversity of thought, which are essential to the future success of our £40bn sector. The resources launched today will help in our mission to change our maritime sector for the better.”

Nicky Goldsbrough, Director of Corporate Services at Shoreham Port, who has led work on the interview pool, said:

“Collaboration has been key to the success of the Taskforce so far and the Interview Pool builds on this through broadening the networks of women in maritime, sharing skills and enabling gender balanced interview pools to be created, all of which is pivotal for attracting more women into the sector.”

February 20, 2019

The Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) International continues to grow worldwide, welcoming Chile to the global network of executive women in shipping.

February 20, 2019 – The Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) International welcomed Chile to the global network of women in shipping. WISTA Chile was officially welcomed in October 2018 in advance of the WISTA International Annual General Meeting & Conference in Tromso, Norway. WISTA Chile joins 44 other National WISTA Associations (NWAs). WISTA International has expanded significantly in South America in the last few years, thanks in large part to the strong leadership of WISTA Brazil and WISTA Argentina. WISTA Peru, WISTA Uruguay, and WISTA Venezuela joined the organization in 2018.

“WISTA International has forged strong bonds with the women in shipping throughout South America,” said WISTA International President Despina  Panayiotou Theodosiou. “WISTA Chile is a natural step in our growth throughout the Americas. We are proud to expand our network and the influence of women in shipping throughout the world.”

“WISTA Chile is committed to empowering more women in our industry,” said Paula Pastén Carvallo, president of WISTA Chile. “We are striving toward building strong relationship with public and private entities in order to play an essential role among shipping and international trade to make a equalize gender opportunities.”

WISTA Chile is led by Paula Pastén Carvallo, Business Development with BMT Worldwide. Jazmín Jorquiera Maulén, Head of Operations Control & Business Processes, Ultratank, serves as WISTA Chile Vice President; Mayra Reyes Pregnan, lawyer with JJR Abogados & Corresponsales, serves as WISTA Chile Secretary; and Camila Vera Durán, Senior Manager, Head of Projects & Analysis with Ultratank, serves as WISTA Chile Treasurer. Serving on the WISTA
Chile Executive Committee are: María Carolina Prat Illanes, Head of Operations, Ultratug; Paola Ferreira Yáñez, New Business Manager of Cave Liquidadores de Seguros; and Claudia Magna Fuentes, Business Manager of Mundo Marítimo. WISTA Chile founding members include: Romy Alejandra Canales Aguilera, Senior General Manager, Head of Break Bulk for Transmares; Angeles Escárate, lawyer with Ultranav; Maria Jose Ruiz Chamy, Bunker Manager with Ultranav;
and Jocelyn Silva Cárcamo, Operations Controller with Ultratank.

WISTA International is an international networking organization for female managers in the shipping industry. WISTA International is comprised of 45 National WISTA Associations (NWA) around the world and nearly 3,000 members. WISTA was approved for consultative status with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in July 2018, providing the organization with a formal voice for supporting IMO work in a variety of areas. WISTA works with a wide variety of
global maritime and governmental bodies to support professional development, opportunities and networking for female manager in the maritime industry.
WISTA welcomed several new National WISTA Associations in 2018: WISTA Portugal, WISTA Panama, WISTA Peru, WISTA Venezuela, WISTA Uruguay and WISTA Japan. National WISTA Associations are formed in individual countries in accordance with the laws and regulations of the country. To launch a National WISTA Association, the association must first contact WISTA International and follow the formation processes set forth in protocols, which include
submitting drafts of the governing documents to WISTA International, filing appropriate paperwork in the home country, having at least ten members in management positions and paying annual fees to WISTA International.
The 2019 WISTA Annual General Meeting & Conference will be hosted by WISTA Cayman Islands on October 30 to November 1, 2019.

For more information about WISTA International, please visit www.wistainternational.com.

A woman who chose to sail with shipping
August 24, 2018

“Two roads diverged in a wood , and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference” (The Road Not Taken poem by Robert Frost). Though ship is feminine in gender, shipping as a career remained an area beyond the reach of women.  It is a known fact that shipping industry and the world of shipping is always a man’s world and no woman has ever chosen it.

The strenuous and heavy demanding work of shipping is naturally not a woman’s cup of tea – it is considered. But Vittanala Gayatri, inspite of having an option to work as faculty of Economics, willingly chose the shipping field. Now, after being a successful entrepreneur as the Managing Director of Sri Gayatri Shipping and Logistics based in Visakhapatnam, she proved her calibre.

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WISTA committed to women in maritime industry
August 22, 2018
The higher the proportion of female executives in top management, the higher the likelihood of above-average business success, according to the McKinsey study Delivering Through Diversity. And this formula also applies to the maritime industry, according to Claudia Ohlmeier, the new CEOof WISTA Germany. Greater commitment by the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) to diversity in shipping, trade and logistics raises the chances of success throughout the maritime economy. Given the lack of skilled workers, this applies even moreso. In office since July 2018, Ohlmeier stressed: “No company can afford to do without women at present.”


(More than) a few good women
August 21, 2018

Sue Terpilowski (pictured) remembers very clearly the point at which she decided to take action on gender equality and female opportunity in shipping. “We held a WISTA event to dip our toe in the water on this topic and I heard young women speaking about the same challenges I had 35 years ago – I hadn’t realised the extent to which so little had changed,” she explains.

Add to that a mounting sense of frustration at the repeated discussion of a ‘skills shortage’ in a shipping jobs market that appeared to be ignoring 51% of the population and she realised there was a job to be done. It was a job that needed a champion and keen to avoid the perception of a personal crusade, Terpilowski tapped up then transport minister John Hayes.

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Hire women, and men work harder
August 20, 2018

Hiring women had a big impact on the men at Ports of Auckland. They worked harder. The past week saw the Global Women organisation, which campaigns for gender equality in the workplace, release a report on how inclusive New Zealand workplaces really were. Many larger employers have been on a drive to lift the number of women in leadership roles, believing it to be good for business.

Diane Edwards, general manager for people, systems and technology at Ports of Auckland, believed hiring women was key to lifting productivity. Edwards was hired just before the great Ports of Auckland Strike of 2012, when management and workers clashed very publicly. “We were not making cost of capital,” Edwards said. “We had the lowest productivity in Australasia, and the culture was pretty toxic.” “It was not a nice place to work.”

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First woman head of port authority in Greece
August 10, 2018

Eirini Argiri has studied Chemical Engineering in the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), and has a Master in Mechanical Engineering from NTUA as well.

In addition, Ms. Argiri is a Port State Control inspector and is serving in the port authority of Chios since 2005. Since March 2016, she was the assistant head of the port authority and has now been promoted to the head of the port authority, becoming the first woman in Greece to have such a position.

This position is especially important, as Chios has a long maritime backround in Greece. The Greek island is also considered to be in a strategic place, and the operation of its port authority requires special considerations. One of the reason for this, is the migration problem, which needs careful handling.

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Pacific Community finalist for top Maritime Award
August 9, 2018

The Pacific Community (S.P.C.) as host institution of the Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre in the Pacific (M.T.C.C.-Pacific), has been named a finalist for the 2018 Lloyd’s List Asia Pacific Awards.

This is one of the most prestigious maritime awards recognising innovative and dynamic contributions of companies and individuals responsible for continuously improving safe and environmentally friendly performance of the shipping industry in the Asia Pacific region.

M.T.C.C.-Pacific works to increase energy efficient operations of vessels and ports in the Pacific through capacity development which consequently reduces greenhouse gas emissions and led to its nomination in the environment category.

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Empowered Women Serving Others
August 8, 2018

Shipping Association of Jamaica’s President, Mrs Denise Lyn Fatt presented a speech to the students at the closing ceremony of the Women in Maritime Association of Jamaica’s Underwater Robotics Summer Camp that was held at the GraceKennedy STEM Centre recently. Here are excerpts from her speech.

I would like to bring warmest greetings from the members of the Shipping Association of Jamaica. We salute the excellent work of the Women in Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC) on the occasion of the successful completion of your youth empowerment summer project.

In placing the human element and capacity building high on its agenda, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) recognises that the shipping industry must reach out to every sector of the community if it is to attract the very best people to pursue a maritime career. IMO, therefore, takes specific measures, through its strategic planning and at the operational level of technical cooperation, to promote the increased participation of women in the maritime sector. This is reflected in the organisation’s strategic plan and through its high-level action plan, which refers specifically to “strengthening the role of women in the maritime sector”, while, at the operational level, the programme for the Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector remains the primary vehicle for supporting the UN Millennium Development Goal Number 3 to “Promote gender equality and empower women”. In response to this, the seventh Women in Maritime Association chapter in the Caribbean was formed in April 2015.

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