Home NewsConferences, Seminars, Forums We’ve come a long way, Baby!

We’ve come a long way, Baby!

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Last week, on the occasion of the IMO’s International Day for Women in Maritime, the IMO and WISTA released some of their findings from a joint study taken amongst industry and IMO Member states.  While not at parity (yet!), we’ve come a long way with 29% of the workforce being women.  Twenty years ago that number was less than 10%.  As the Virginia Slims jingle goes:  “You’ve come a long way, Baby, to get where you want to today.”

While there is cause for celebration, there is clearly more work to be done.  I was approached by a media outlet asking:

  • Q: “What’s one thing the industry can do to help women advance their careers in shipping and make it a better place for women to work?”

My answer was:
There is no “one thing” industry can do, as the involvement of women exists both on ships and ashore.  For mariners on board, it is imperative that women feel safe; we need to address SASH and equity issues as soon as possible and make them part of IMO policy so they are respected and adopted.  While these issues also affect women on shore, I would also add the ability to work remotely in order to balance both professional and personal demands.  COVID demonstrated that remote working works; let’s continue to make that a possibility so women can better access shipping as a profession.

We are not in a “we” versus “them” scenario.  It is important for our industry’s sustainability and growth that we embrace, encourage and facilitate diversity.  It makes us all richer—in every sense of the word!!

Keep Optimizing,

Carleen Lyden Walker
     Chief Evolution Officer
     IMO Maritime Ambassador
     +1 203 255 4686 (o)
     +1 203 260 0480 (m)

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