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Women in Shipping: Navigating to the Top

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Women in Shipping:  Navigating to the Top

Carleen Lyden Walker, Chief Evolution Officer, IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador

On January 3, 1995 I was invited to attend a banking overview of the shipping industry in New York.  Being new to my job at International Marketing Strategies (thank you Jim Lawrence!), I was excited to dive right into an industry that I had been passionate about since I was a little girl.  What I hadn’t anticipated, though, was that I would be the only woman in a room of about 70.  This perplexed me, so afterwards I introduced myself to a fellow attendee, Compass’ Tom Roberts, and asked him why this was so.  He explained to me that the industry was historically and predominantly male.  (He also mentioned that he had a list of women who were in the industry—and that they had recently held a bachelor night for him, both in London and New York!)

I was determined to try to shift this paradigm, so began planning an event for that September which I called “Woman in Shipping:  Navigating to the Top” along with another IMS colleague, Maria Lucca.  With Tom’s and Maria’s contact lists as a foundation, we created an event which was held at the United States Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point for over 100 maritime professionals plus cadets.  I remember DnB’s Anna Oien who was at the time head of DnB Shipping in Norway and other powerful presenters.  There were also representatives from an organization in London called WISTA (Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association) who were there on a recruiting mission (yes, this was the birth of WISTA USA!).

When I started, there were about 5% woman shore-based professionals in our industry (I have no idea how many mariners were women in 1995, but since it is only 2% today I imagine it was a fraction).  Anecdotal information indicates that women represent about 10% of our industry now, which, while more than double in 25 years, is hardly impressive especially when compared to other industries.

We are at a turning point, however, and money is the driver.  Diversity and inclusion is a main pillar of the latest industry gold standard—ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance).  Companies will now be measured on their actions to be inclusive in every level of their business.  Those who are found wanting will be denied access to well-priced financing or attractive charters.  And why would companies resist when it is proven that having women in the ranks makes them more profitable???

So, as we celebrate Women’s Day, let’s look for opportunities to increase the number of qualified women in our ranks—from students and cadets to managers and CEO’s!!

Keep Optimizing,


Carleen Lyden Walker
Chief Evolution Officer
IMO Maritime Ambassador

News of the Week
March 10, 2021

click on topic to jump to that section
Decade of DisruptionDeep Dive: Digitalization & CyberDecade of DecisionsDeep Dive: Fuel & BunkeringDecade of DigitalizationDeep Dive: Fuel AlternativesDeep Dive: Regulatory Compliance ChallengesDecade of DecarbonizationSHIPPINGInsight updates

Decade of DisruptionIndian product tanker makes history
2021-03-08- Celebrating International Women’s Day, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) debuted something remarkable over the weekend, a product tanker with an all female set of officers. . . 

Deep Dive: Digitalization & CyberShipping Groups Tap Algorithms to Cut Carbon Emissions
2021-03-03– Leading shipping group Maersk Tankers is investing tens of millions of dollars in digital technology to speed up cuts in carbon. . . 

 Container shipping could save $4bn a year from 50% take-up of e-Bills of Lading
2021-03-05 – A 50% adoption of usage of electronic Bills of Ladings by shippers in the next 10 years could save the container shipping $4bn. . . READ MORE
Source: Seatrade Maritime NewsDecade of DecisionsClarksons predicts seaborne trade volumes will surpass 2019 levels this year2021-03-08– While conceding that major uncertainties remain, Clarkson Research Services is projecting global seaborne trade estimates for full year. . . READ MORE
Deep Dive: Fuel & BunkeringIMO PUBLISHES GUIDELINES TO PORT STATE CONTROL FOR ON BOARD FUEL OIL SAMPLING2021-03-02 – As a result of the introduced method, shipowners and the officers on board ships should be prepared to handle potential requests. . . READ MORE
Source: BIMCO
 GLOBAL: TOYOTA TSUSHO TO ROLL OUT BLOCKCHAIN-BASED SERVICE FOR BUNKER ORDER MANAGEMENT2021-03-08– BunkerNote will allow the online processing of bunker and lubes documentation – from order to invoice – and will. . . READ MORE
Source: BUNKERSPOTDecade of Digitalization‘We need to talk more about predicability rather than just visibility’: TPM2021-03-04– The Journal of Commerce-organised TPM, container shipping’s top event, closed its first virtual gathering yesterday, ending a week-long deep dive. . . READ MORE
Deep Dive: Fuel AlternativesInland boxship to be running on hydrogen by year-end2021-03-04– An inland container vessel will be running exclusively on hydrogen power by the end of this year. . . READ MORE

 European shipping players call on EU to promote green hydrogen and ammonia as marine fuel2021-03-05– Several European shipping industry players and environmentalists have jointly sent an open letter to the European Commission to use the FuelEU Maritime. . . READ MORE
Deep Dive: Regulatory Compliance ChallengesEU restrictions on scrubbers would delay carbon neutrality, says CSA 20202021-03-04– The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA) says that a vote encouraging EU Member States to restrict open-loop exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS). . . READ MORE
Source: ship.energyDecade of DecarbonizationShipping industry needs to talk market-based measures2021-03-02– BIMCO is encouraging states and the industry to start a dialogue on how to create a global ruleset for market-based. . . READ MORE
Source: SHIP Management International
 IMO Seen as Best Suited for Developing a Future Carbon Market for Shipping2021-03-03– The International Maritime Organization is expected to codify a transitional (i.e. 2030) energy efficiency pathway for commercial ships in an upcoming. . . READ MORE

 Global shipping CO2 emissions down by 1% during 20202021-03-05– Shipping’s CO2 emissions fell 1% during 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the shipping activity. . . READ MORE

 Unilever develops Virtual Ocean Control Tower on path to net zero emissions2021-03-08– Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, is coming good on its pledge last year to reach net zero emissions for all its products by 2039. . . READ MORE
SHIPPINGInsight Updates

Click below to view SHIPPINGInsight news and updatesOn-demand access to SHIPPINGInsight 20/20 Conference and Exhibition is COMPLIMENTARY to all. Click below to register and access:SHIPPINGInsight On-Demand
2021 Partner Spotlight

Check out Maritime Executive’s Interview with Founder & Owner of Total Marine Solutions, Alexandra Anagnostis-Irons!

SHIPPINGInsight is pleased to be welcoming Total Marine Solutions as a partner. They will be joining us as we bridge the decade with fleet management and maritime technology. 

For partnership and exhibiting information, please contact  
Stella Ludovicy (s.ludovicy@shippinginsight.com)

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