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Women’s year in shipping 2019 makes a big splash right from the beginning

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The Lifebuoy of my life – readily prepared by that She…

Women’s year in shipping 2019 makes a big splash right from the beginning

You all know that I owe everything in shipping to women; they all acted and continue to act as a lifebuoy every single day of my life. All women in my life played and continue to play a crucial role in my past business life and now in “retirement” – I am “working” on my memoirs… continue to do so! I owe them everything and devote many chapters on them. Admitting this makes you accept the supremacy of our sea-maidens and brings them on par with us leading to success in life’s most demanding business sector: the shipping adventure. The See She Sea factor is of paramount importance.

We decided to have an impromptu mini-survey in allaboutshipping as the International Women’s Day was demanding so and put forward some points from a few Sea-Maidens that are high up and others following their entrepreneurial example and success follow them. The response as you will see was great given the time constrains.

Members of the crew of the s/s Santa Despo, a Liberty ship, with my mother holding me and  the lifebuoy; behind her my late father, then master of the ship.
























As a man I am pleased to see that most of the women are becoming more than leaders than managers and this greatly enhances the image of shipping… In the run up to September’s celebrations at the IMO for The World Maritime Day and this year’s theme: “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community”, we will bring you more and more news and articles on women in shipping; from office personnel of any level to seafarers of every rank! Diversity Diversity Diversity! Women in Maritime – IMO’s gender programme is the real beginning; we must touch upon this opportunity and make it better for all. It will for sure, with appropriate mentorship from top men and women, become a catalyst in creating more jobs on board and ashore– very much needed in the catastrophic and depressed – fully bankrupt world we live in!

Our aim is to present by the end of the year and after the IMO September event, an enhanced special survey and primarily cover news from all WISTA’s all over Planet Ocean. We encourage women to join WISTA and we also urge WISTA-International to spearhead educational programmes for everything maritime to improve…!

In our survey for the Top 100 individuals for 2018 uploaded in mid-February 2019, 41 were women! We are thrilled with the result and overall comments; a tough job materialised by Anny Zade!

The views below come from women I was talking with after 11:30 GMT and at random called and as a test for their calibre and shipping business acumen, most contacted were only the last moment. For this response Many Congratulations – we might update the report tomorrow if we receive the response from those women travelling – driving or flying or being pre-occupied in other events; enjoy:

Irene Rosberg

Irene Rosberg,

Programme Director, Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics (The Blue MBA):

The women: she inspires, she encourages, she nurtures, she leads the way, wherever she is there is magic, she is one of the kind.

Happy International Women’s Day 2019!

N.B.That was the first message to be received which triggered the survey; thank you Irene for the inspiration!

Professor Averil Macdonald OBE

Professor Averil Macdonald OBE

“Live like a Proton – be positive!”

“Be a Warrior, not a Worrier!”
“History wasn’t made by well-behaved women!”
Three inspirational phrases emblazoned on notebooks handed out as gifts to participants at just one of hundreds of events to mark International Women’s Day across the UK.
Whereas, years ago, participants at such events would often feel irritated at the lack of recognition of IWD, there’s now a genuine sense that it’s a justified celebration of what’s been achieved.
So why do we still need IWD? Because there is still unfairness in the world of work. And no one would suggest that unfairness is acceptable – anywhere.
IWD is our opportunity to stand up for fairness.  Until we are confident that all aspects of reward and recognition at work are fair, IWD will continue to drive us. And as inspirational phrases are a day-to-day part of that, then I’m going to continue to live like a proton.

Margareth J. Mosquera T.

Margareth J. Mosquera T,

Deputy Director, Merchant Marine General Directorate, Panama Maritime Authority

For me, as Deputy General Director of the Merchant Marine of Panama, it is a real pleasure and pride to have so many valued professional women as part of our staff, who do a sterling job in their field and support the development and the success of the Panamanian Ship Registry as well as being also great mothers, wives, friends, daughters and sisters.


Alexandra Gana

Alexandra Gana,  GANMAR Shipping, Operations Manager

There are three creatures that can be a gift and a threatening at the same time: fire, a woman and the sea! We love them all for the same reason: the power that someone feels next to them…

Happy International Women’s Day.



Kira Phoenix K’inan

Kira Phoenix K’inan, Artist and Designer

Today is International Women’s Day and what better way to celebrate that to be in the company of 41 incredible women as part of the Top 100 All Abut Shipping List.

Today I have been remembering all the brave women who have come before and the strides women today have made to create a brighter future for the next generation. It is also brings to mind Planet Ocean, Mother Earth and the state of our planet.

From the series, Iridescent Storm.

My series, Iridescent Storm, was created using several shards of broken glass in my cathartic exploration of the broken becoming part of a greater whole to create something sublime out of the damage. This for me sums up how we, as women and men, can come together to create something greater than we were thought possible.




Paillette Palaiologou

Paillette Palaiologou

Vice President Marine & Offshore, Hellenic Black Sea & Adriatic Zone –Bureau Veritas.

The status of women in our society has changed dramatically throughout the past decades and it continues to evolve rapidly.

Women are a vital part of the economic and business reality of the 21st century.

Shipping, one of the most challenging and demanding business sectors, attracts more and more women offering fascinating carrier opportunities.


Eleni Letoni

Eleni Letoni

Communications, Sales & Marketing Coordinator for Greece, Cyprus & Malta – Bureau Veritas

Women nowadays are active across all business sectors, even the ones that have traditionally been predominated by men.

The Shipping Industry is a characteristic example of a business cluster where women were almost absolutely absent from.

Today, more and more women enter dynamically the Shipping business, excelling both in managerial &technical positions.



Maria Mavroudi

Maria Mavroudi

Business Development Manager, Seascope Hellas and General Manager, Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel

In the male-dominated world of Shipping and Tourism, companies need to realize that diversity is in their favor as it takes a more balanced working environment to bring better results and achieve growth. Talking about my peers, millennial women are the most educated group of women in history and a valuable resource for the future of the world and the Shipping Industry. Perception is everything and that’s the biggest obstacle we need as women to overtake to achieve gender and pay equity. Yes we are ambitious, we work hard, we are proactive and at the same time we value work ethic high. We desire opportunities to advance based on merit, balance in our personal and professional lives and the ability to define our own success.

WISTA sheds a light on the treatment of women in the shipping industry. Personally, through WISTA network, I have met a number of very capable women, who have been role models to me and great mentors. We are the women who move the world and we are stronger together! Happy International Women’s Day!

Gina Panayiotou

Gina Panayiotou

Global Head of Shipping Michael Kyprianou & Co. LLC

Balance for better” is the theme of 2019 International Women’s Day campaign, and this could not more soundly reflect the role and importance of women globally.

In a male-dominated industry like shipping especially, it is of utmost importance for diversity to be embraced, for women to be empowered towards a sustainable and resilient industry.

Despina Agyranopoulou

Despina Agyranopoulou

H/R Manager in Global Seaways

Have a lovely Women’s Day!

May all your days travel in smooth seas and find a most hospitable harbour to nurture your dreams!





Stavroula Gavridi

Stavroula Gavridi,


Little girls’ dreams become a woman’s vision and mission.

Happy International Women’s Day.

We still need that day.

To celebrate our achievements so far and to draw our strength to keep aiming higher.



Sue Terpilowski

Sue Terpilowski OBE, WISTA-UK president and head of IMAGE Line UK

The maritime sector has many faces and sides and is a fantastic industry. We just need to continue on our journey to address the gender imbalance we have.

The IMO World Maritime Day theme is “Empowering women in the maritime community” and the theme for IWD19 was ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change.

Today in Belfast I launched two projects that truly take these objectives; Speakers Bank and Interview Pool. Both I believe unique in diversity initiatives. I am so proud of Maritime UK Women’s Taskforce and WISTA UK for these as by being proactive in giving solutions we will make a real difference.

In Belfast we heard from some inspiring women in our sector and now we need to take our message out to a wider audience to get more women to join us and make the sector welcoming to them.

Stella Papachristou

Stella Papachristou, HSA (Hellenic Shipbrokers Association), head of the Secretariat

Shipping is one of the most heavily male-dominated industries in the world, with women making up only 2% of the global maritime workforce.

In light of International Women’s day women now have an incredible opportunity to make their dreams a reality, moving from promise to action, from lofty goals to concrete outcomes and effective implementation.





Dr Aleka Mandaraka – Sheppard

From Dr. Aleka Mandaraka-Sheppard, another heavyweight in a male dominated world. Dr. Sheppard is an Arbitrator and founding director of the LSLC (London Shipping Law Centre); in this instance she’s the chairperson of the International Working Group (IWG).

We have herebelow her immense contribution on the CMI – IWG’s open meeting on Liability for Wrongful Arrest of Ships; worth studying in the executive summary that follows  these 11 points:

Executive Summary and Reflections
1.We had a very interactive 2-hour session.

2.Various representatives of NMLAs spoke (such as from Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Greece, Malta, Nigeria, Turkey, Ukraine, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and representatives of ICS, P & I Clubs, and cargo interests’ insurers).

3.There was an illuminating and constructive debate among participants, who freely expressed their views as derived from their experience of practice in their own jurisdictions.

4.As it will be seen in the transcript, most of the participating lawyers and cargo insurers were concerned about any change of the law and were more or less happy with their national law regarding wrongful arrests.

5.It was said, that although many of them have had experience of ‘so called wrongful arrests’, actual wrongful arrest cases are rare and, in any event, there can be other remedies in place than a claim for general damages, which can be disproportionate. As to counter security or a cross undertaking, it was said that such a provision would deter the weaker claimants, such as crew members and others who are not protected by compulsory liability schemes, to have access to justice.

6.Many expressed the view that there is no real problem, first because wrongful arrests are rare, other than the occurrence of sharp practices to put pressure on the shipowner, and second because in most cases security is provided without much delay to the ship or even arrest. In the event of a failed claim there is a costs award.

7.However, P & I Clubs and the ICS (which represent owners) expressed the view that they are unhappy with the system because it is unsatisfactory and fragmented, and it will need to be looked at further.
8.Although the IWG project and the debate were welcomed and the participants would like to have more of such debates for the purpose of learning about the various national systems on arrest of ships, there was no appetite for change. The show of hands, however, was almost evenly balanced for and against change.

9.At the end of the debate, there was consensus that the CMI Project should continue to the next stage of a further questionnaire and further communication with the industry sectors.

10.However, I think that to attempt a reform of the system of arrest at an international level would not only be an almost impossible task, but it would also be prevented by national protectionism. On reflection, I do not think that any attempted uniformity would be achievable; (and even if it were, it might have the same fate as the 1999 Arrest Convention). Model law rules will only be serving the purpose of guidance.

11.The project, once the industry became aware of it by reason of the debate (and it was commended by the Court of Appeal in the Alkyon), has had the value of learning and it may provide a stimulus to law reformers of each national system to improve their respective laws on the subject.

To see the full transcript of this debate and the work done so far visit: www.cmi.org and search for Work in Progress on Wrongful Arrest of Ships

Danae Bezantakou

Danae Bezantakou,


Being part of the Greek Shipping Community for the last 20 years, and member of a family in shipping for more than 45 years, I have to confess that if you are long – term committed and you can bring results under pressure , but most of all you love shipping, you can of course have a position in it.

Keep in mind that Shipping has no gender, unless we talk about vessels!!”


Ioannou Dorothea,

Dorothea Ioannou

Chief Commercial Officer, Shipowners Claims Bureau Inc., Managers of American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc.

As a women in the shipping sector, I am very conscious of the fact that as an industry we still lag behind others when it comes to gender diversity. However I am also very conscious and proud of the fact that the face of shipping and in particular marine insurance, is changing! Recent studies we have conducted at the American Club reveal that claims and underwriting staff within the IG Clubs, based on publicly available data from websites, have an almost 50/50 gender representation ratio! The significance of this is that the talent pool from which future directors will rise is now truly equal in gender representation, and it happened simply based on merit. That’s something we can be proud of so congratulations to everyone in the marine insurance sector, both female and male! Of course, the real accomplishment you see will be when gender is not even an issue of conversation.

Chryssa Voulgaridou

Chryssa Voulgaridou, Strategy Director at crisismonitor.gr and  Commercial Director at SBC-ATTICA TV

Today, women represent only two percent of the world’s 1.2 million seafarers and 94 percent of female seafarers are working in the cruise industry. Within this historically male dominated industry, IMO has been making a concerted effort to help the industry move forward and support women to achieve a representation that is in keeping with twenty-first century expectations.

There is ample evidence that investing in women is the most effective way to lift communities, companies, and even countries. Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform.

Within the framework of maritime development, and through its Women in Maritime programme, under the slogan: “Training-Visibility-Recognition”, IMO has taken a strategic approach towards enhancing the contribution of women as key maritime stakeholders. IMO continues to support the participation of women in both shore-based and sea-going posts.

IMO is strongly committed to helping its Member States achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 5 “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Christiana Prekezes

Christiana Prekezes,

Executive Coordinator HELMEPA

When the assignment of a female Captain or Chief Engineer on a vessel makes the news, then you know we have a long way to go for equal opportunities in world shipping.

So let’s all encourage young women to join in the dynamic and exciting maritime world!”



Irene Notias

Irene Notias,

Managing Director, Prime’s Bunkersplus

On the occasion of International Woman’s Day, I repeat what I had written in an article eight years ago, entitled “ A Kind of Shipping Womanity”.

A woman in Shipping is from a different breed of women.

She is as passionate for her work whether she is in operations, legal, chartering, bunkering, administration or management, as she is passionate for her husband and children and her life.

She gets up at 6am to prepare for her day and family which ends at 12 midnight at best!

The woman’s cologne by Theirry Mugler called WOMANITY inspired the title to describe shipping  women who prevail over adversity and contribute to society leaving an everlasting scent behind.

Dr. Katerina Konsta

Dr. Katerina Konsta, CEO, SeaWorks Training & Consultancy

How many Marie Curies has shipping missed out on?

If the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie had been denied access to university education because she was a woman would the world have progressed to the stage we are at now? How many Marie Curies has the shipping industry missed out on?

There is still is a belief in some quarters that women have no business being on a ship in a professional role. Practically being accepted in a multi-cultural group majorly dominated by men is the first and foremost challenge that women seafarers face. The ship is another planet and things may be better for women working in the shipping corporate world. Things are better but not to the point of equality. Of course, challenges are up to personality, mentality, background, commitment, strategies, making the right choices and the work environment. Still, men and women are not faced with exactly the same challenges. The cross-cultural and male-dominated industry poses a mixture of challenges mostly for women seafarers and less for the women working in the shipping companies and cluster ashore. Of course we assume that in the western world progress will come faster but you will be surprised to know that this is another perception. The 1st SeaWorks International Research for Women in 2017, in which 400 WISTA (Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association) members participated reveals that the concerns women face ashore are more or less the same everywhere in the world.

Women make up only an estimated 2% of the world’s maritime workforce. How many are CEOs, on boards of directors and so on? The low number means that women have not been given the same chances as men. By promoting the employment of women, maritime businesses may not only help overcome shortages in labour supply, but may also contribute to achieving key sustainable development goals.

The shipping industry will undoubtedly look different in the future. The physical progression of things, the fact the percentage of women population in the world is growing faster, the impact of technology, advances in automation and education, and most of all the underlying wish of women to be an active and leading part of the industry will have an impact in the changing shape of future jobs.

What the market needs to guarantee is equal opportunity for all, no matter the gender, age, colour, ethnicity, religion and so on. Could you imagine being a black, gay, older woman, what would be your career chances then? If we can take the worst case scenario and transform it by equal treatment then we would have made an impact.

The route of the problem is not about gender. It is about humans and perceptions, it is all about power, power and resistance to change.

Shipping is considered to be a big poker game so in that sense the cards needs to be reshuffled. Women seafarer numbers are increasing in the world’s fleets in the position of officers, ratings and pilots in many types of merchant ships. Women become entrepreneurs, directors, managers, get posts of influence, power and succeed in their career.  Most importantly the new generations know that they have more opportunities than before. Indeed, we are making progress but there is still a way to go.

My message to all women (and men) who want to pursue a career in shipping is STOP THINKING, JUST DO IT. There is no limit to what and who you want to be, there is no limit to setting goals.

My message to all women is that If you really like to be on board ships, if you want to be a shipowner, a charterer, a broker, the secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization, a mechanical engineer then do not compromise for less than you believe that you deserve.

I dream of an A GENDER WORLD, LIVES and MINDS.

Yanna Petinari

Yanna Petinari, Legal Advisor Lomar Shipping Limited:

Happy International Women’s day to all the fierce and hardworking women out there.

We should always remember that when women support each other incredible things can happen!




Menia Kouli

From the Arts World, another view by Menia Kouli, Director of Public Affairs, Takis Foundation KETE :

Women in the art world are by far outnumbered, in fact very few manage to become globally known and dominant, because the art world, as other sectors, is male dominated.

However, there are bright examples of women artists who managed to succeed. Georgia O’ Keef, Niki de Saint Phalle, Yayoi Kussama and the Greeks, Chryssa and Vassiliki, are bright examples of women artists-success stories.





Patricia Velasquez

Patricia Velasquez, President Panama Maritime Chamber and CEO of Panamanian RO Macosnar

On the occasion of International Women’s Day I would like to express my congratulations to all successful women and encourage to more gender equality and opportunities for women in Shipping.




Ing. Dionora Brugiati
Today we want to remember and distinguish all those women who with great effort have fought for equal conditions and opportunities in the workplace, likewise congratulate all those women who have dared to enter careers that initially they were established for male sex and they have shown with care and effort that if you can.

Congratulations to the women of the maritime sector who dared to take this great step and who day by day enhance and contribute greatly to the development of our industry.

“Congratulations to all the struggling women and workers”

Maria Dixon

Maria Dixon, Director ISM Shipping Solutions Ltd and former president WISTA-UK

2019 is an important year for us shipping women.

IMO is highlighting and honouring us and our contribution.

I would like to give my warmest congratulations to those unsung heroes that are mothers and wives and grandmothers and also Shipping women! They are also part or this remarkable day.



Maria Karahaliou

Maria Karahaliou,

Lloyd’s Register, Executive Assistant to South Europe Marine and Offshore Manager, Trainer and Internal Training coordinator, Marine & Offshore

Women in shipping today are playing an integral part in taking this vast and distinguished sector into the future.

Whether their background is of a technical nature or not ,women in this sector are bringing a new view point, their natural intuition ,extensive professional training and persistence into the mix in order to lead and help implement the changes needed, changes ranging from the innovation and implementation of new technologies to a new way of understanding organizational culture and improving interpersonal professional relationships, women side by side with their male counterparts are forging the future of shipping .

Lilian Evgenidis Polydor

Lilian Evgenidis Polydor,

Commercial Analyst at Teekay Shipping

Maritime shipping operates 24/7 and so do Women. Balancing roles and responsibilities is essential for success in all aspects of life. Just as ships require balance to sail, our world needs balance to advance and thrive.



Ana Irene Delgado

Ana Irene Delgado,

Maritime lawyer

Today is a day in which the contributions of women in the world are recognized. In our constituency, we must congratulate mothers, wives, women that are both, father and mother, women from our beautiful oceans and islands,who look to the sea as hope for the support of their families, the indigenous women guardians of our ancestral traditions, the business woman, the professional woman. In short to that bouquet of women unique and valuable of Chepo, Chiman, Balboa and Taboga.

United we are a force of Change.

Ana Irene Delgado. Running for a Seat in the Panama Senate 2019


We look forward to your comments  and hope that will be organising a special survey on Women and Shipping.

N.B. Remember in Shipping we worship Figureheads ! For centuries they were always on the bows of our ships!!! Now they are also amongst us complementing the Shipping Industry to all intents and purposes, on board and ashore! We pay our respects to all Women in the Shipping and Seafaring profession;  the Grandmother, the Mother, the Sister, the Daughter, the Fiance, the Wife of the Seafarer and it’s worth when visiting Greece to go at Galaxidi, a seafaring little seaside town in the north central coast of the the Corinthian Gulf and  see the monument of the seafarers wife and children. You will then get the message!

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