All over the world, International Women’s Day provides a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women. WISTA-UK’s event at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) last Thursday was a celebration of many things – a celebration of the 2014 International Personality of the Year, the Entrepreneur of 2015, the ‘Came by SHIP’ competition winner and, most importantly, a celebration of women in shipping.
WISTA-UK is part of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association – an international organisation for women in management positions involved in the business and related trades worldwide. WISTA has evolved to become an influential global network with more than 2, 100 members from 35 different countries.
One of the speakers of the evening was William O’Neil, former Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization who said, “It’s marvellous to see how WISTA has grown extensively over the years to become an international organisation, as well as the great effort it has invested in trying to improve the younger generation’s knowledge of shipping activities.”
Despite being a male dominated industry, women are gradually staking their claim and empowering others to get involved in shipping and that is what WISTA-UK strives to encourage with the Personality of the Year and Entrepreneurship awards.
The annual WISTA Personality of the Year was awarded to Liverpool Cruise Terminal’s Manager, Angie Redhead, who was first selected as Personality of the Year for the WISTA-UK competition in June 2014. She then progressed to nominations for the WISTA International ceremony in October 2014 and conquered 32 rivals worldwide to claim the specially commissioned crystal.
Since her appointment as Liverpool Cruise Terminal’s Manager, Angie has helped to restore the city’s prestigious position on the international cruise map and will continue to be a strong advocate for the passenger destination. She regards the terminal as the “lifeblood of the river” and it is set to undergo a £4 billion expansion project.
Speaking after formally receiving the award, Angie said, “It’s an immensely proud and humbling moment for me. One thing that my father instilled in me from a very young age was a strong work ethic and I always knew that from sheer hard work and determination I could contribute something to my city, to my family and to those that I love.”
Angie refers to working at Liverpool’s Cruise Terminal as “Angie’s Boot Camp” – she encourages all of her staff to operate with precision, diligence, patience and, most importantly, a sense of humour.
Angie also places emphasis on the character of a person; “One thing that hasn’t changed in Liverpool is the character of the people and we are stronger together. Qualifications can be important but show me good character and we will turn it into something great.”
WISTA-UK Secretary Bridget Hogan (of The Nautical Institute) said, “Angie encompasses all of the qualities that we look for in our Personality of the Year. She is dedicated, motivated and inspirational and as WISTA members, we endeavour to choose someone who will provide us with inspiration for the future. We support people who ‘do’ rather than just ‘say’ and Angie is a perfect example of this devout commitment and passion for the maritime industry.”
“Now hopefully in my role I will be able to inspire young people and young women to make the maritime sector a career choice when for so long in the city it wasn’t, ” said Angie.
Teresa Stevens, Owner and Business Director of Guardian Maritime Limited, was presented with a prestigious WISTA-UK Entrepreneur of 2015 award for her groundbreaking work inventing and developing vessel protection systems.
Teresa said that she was delighted to receive the award and reinforced the importance of WISTA’s role in supporting young women in all areas of the maritime industry, “Shipping is below the radar in the UK and I think that women need to rally together and encourage one another to build up their network of contacts. Without the encouragement and support of WISTA-UK I probably wouldn’t be here accepting this award, ” she said.
In 2014, to commemorate the 40th year anniversary of WISTA-UK, introduced the Came by SHIP campaign in order to help promote the importance of shipping in our lives. In conjunction with Seavision and Jeanius Consulting, and supported by the UK Chamber of Shipping, the Came by SHIP national essay competition was launched to encourage schools, cadets and youth groups to focus on the significance of the industry and consider shipping and seafaring as a potential career path for the future.
There were two essay categories – under 12s writing up to 250 words related to the shipping industry or the movement of goods by ship, and the 12-18 year old category writing up to 500 words. 10 year old Ruby Smith from Sanford Primary School won the under 12 category with an impressive and factually descriptive piece about container ships.
16 year old Lydia Pallot from Peter Symonds College in Winchester won the 12-18 year old category with a beautifully written piece about the industry’s fundamental role in fuelling our economy. The A-level Geography student and budding blogger hopes to one day become a writer, and prior to receiving her award said, “It’s very exciting to be here amongst so many inspiring industry professionals. When I heard about the competition I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to challenge my writing skills and learn more about shipping. The competition has definitely broadened my understanding of the industry.”
The judging panel included the likes of Rose George, renowned British author and journalist, Guy Platten, CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping, EBP Kent, Solent EBP and Lloyds List – who will be publishing the winning articles.
To culminate the evening, Acting President of WISTA-UK, Sue Terpilowski OBE, expressed her thanks to the sponsors of the Came by SHIP essay and photographic competitions, as well as Ewen Macdonald of Seavision and Jean Winfield from Jeanius Consulting for all their hard work bringing the campaign to fruition. Both competitions will be running again this year and will be launched during London International Shipping Week this September.