WISTA and IWD 2021
The importance of diversity and the roles of women in maritime are part of the celebrations for International Women’s Day (IWD 2021) taking place today (Monday 8 March 2021). Despina Panayiotou-Theodosiou, President of WISTA International commented on the day: “The recognition of the vital roles women play in the maritime world have been thrown into even greater perspective by the global pandemic. The importance of the contribution everyone plays in the shipping world, the ports sector and the wider maritime industry cannot be undervalued – and women are an integral part of the solutions that the global economy needs as the slow recovery continues”.
WISTA International Activities on International Women’s Day 2021:
WISTA International signs MOU with APEC Seafarers Excellence Network The leading global body for women in the maritime world – WISTA International – has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with APEC Seafarers Excellence Network (APEC SEN) to promote and develop joint networks to support both bodies.
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation for Seafarers Excellence Network (APEC SEN) is a comprehensive network that promotes the well-qualified, and efficient maritime workforce that maintains the highest standard of the professionalism and ethical conduct in the Asia region and globally.
The MoU was signed on Monday 8 March 2021 and outlines the collaborative and cooperative synergies to support the alignment to the WISTA Mission, the APEC Pillars on Empowerment of Women, and commitment to achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The objectives of this co-operation between two of the most respected groups in maritime campaigning and support are to build a community that will attract and support women in the APEC Region. They will also work together to establish a Mentor-Mentee Network that will empower future generation of maritime women professionals through mentoring seminars and/or international conference via webinars with the main focus on topics related to maritime transport.
Both bodies will work to establish participants from the National WISTA Associations (NWAs) to participate in the APEC Seafarers Excellence Network (SEN) On-Board Training to foster competent young Future Maritime Global Leaders as part of the APEC SEN project. WISTA’s work in gender diversity and their role in supporting women in the maritime sector will be a major part of the co-operation with APEC SEN in establishing the development of a Certificate Course on Empowering Women in the global maritime industry.
Despina Panayiotou-Theodosiou, President of WISTA International welcomed the announcement of the MoU:
“This is a very welcome addition to the strategy we have of working with leading maritime organisations to support diversity in this vital global industry. APEC SEN has the knowledge and support of seafarers, many who are women, who recognise the need to align with other strong bodies to promote our work in shipping and other parts of the world’s maritime industry.”
Dong Jae Lee, Secretary General of APEC SEN also recognized the new partnership and its potential for diversity and growth in 2021: “Recognizing the importance of diversity and women’s inclusion in the international maritime industry, the cooperation among WISTA and APEC SEN will take practical actions to draw tangible outcomes in short- and long-term perspective, by fully aligning its projects with APEC Pillars on Empowerment of Women, WISTA Mission, and commitment the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with particular focus to Goal 5.”
Focus Group In Africa As part of the day WISTA International (Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association) held an online event entitled “Women in Leadership; Effective Mentoring in Shipping” at 11:00am GMT.This online event was hosted by the Focus Group in Africa which was formed in August 2020 as one of the actions prompted by the MoU signed by the IMO and WISTA International in January 2020. The Focus Group is made up of IMO-established Regional Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs) in Africa and WISTA International along with National WISTA Associations also in Africa. For more than 45 years WISTA has been working to establish and bring about the recognition of women working in the maritime environment.
During the online event women working in shipping and other maritime roles discussed issues related to leadership skills; the effective mentoring approach that is has been highlighted by the global pandemic and how it has affected the working conditions for seafarers during this period.
This year’s event was moderated by two seasoned professionals in the maritime industry.Ms. Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore, a bilingual, maritime, energy, investment and environment lawyer and a partner in the law firm of O. Edodo, Thorpe & Associates, a leading Maritime & Commercial law firm in Lagos, Nigeria. Ms. Edodo-Emore is also the Chairperson of Zoe Maritime Resource Services also based in Lagos and is the Executive Member of Women In Maritime West and Central Africa ( WIMoWCA).Ms. Eunice Ezeoke, is the Managing Director of Bono Integrated Logistics and the President of WISTA Nigeria. She has more than 30 years’ experience in the diverse field of maritime, shipping, logistics, and transportation, including working in the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).Naa Densua Aryeetey, WISTA International Executive Committee Member is the responsible person from WISTA International’s side, for the Focus Group.
Women Onboard – WISTA International & Maritime SheEO Collaboration
This year- 2021 – is an important one for WISTA International and as part of the continuing drive for gender equality in the maritime world, the latest collaboration is with Maritime SheEO under the SHE of Change Campaign to drive gender equality initiatives in the maritime industry. In celebration of International Women’s Day WISTA will co-host a number of short video sessions, highlighting the role of female seafarers getting the perspective of how COVID 19 impacted them as well as views from the young women who will be the future of this sector. These informative recordings will be moderated by Sanjam Gupta, WISTA International ExCo Member and Maritime SheEO Founder based in Mumbai, India, who said: “The maritime industry needs to celebrate the contribution of women. Seafarers are the true heros and we are happy to share these stories of “women onboard” who are an essential part of the industry”.The videos will be released during the week starting with International Women’s Day.