Empowering women

WISTA: Diversity key to unlocking maritime sustainability

In a modern, well-functioning society diversity is an accepted norm. People of different genders, ages, beliefs and cultures mix, giving broad perspectives and enriching understanding. Everybody benefits from that. In shipping, although the numbers are very old, we know that only around 2% of seafarers are women, with no clear idea of how gender plays out in land-based and support roles and sectors – says Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou – president of WISTA.

Highly Qualified Women dominate in the 17+1 format countries

According to the latest Women Forbes ranking, it is easier for women to succeed and have a creer in countries undergoing strong economic transition then in those with stable economies. In countries that are chasing the West and developing twice as fast as the EU average, it is easier to break the “glass ceiling” and get to the top. Women in Poland, Romania and China are leaders in this respect. While we observe a positive phenomenon in the context of maritime education, there is still a long way to go in the context of the maritime labor market.

A glance at the maritime economy from a women perspective

The year 2019 was established by the IMO International Maritime Organization as the year of recognizing the importance of the role of women in maritime economy. Highly qualified women who managed to gain their place on the maritime labor market showed their strength, qualifications and determination in gaining a high professional position. Women in Poland, Romania and China are leaders in this respect. The current UN, IMO trends, the emerging new formula of the sustainable, safe and ecological shipping, seem to be an opportunity to increase the participation of high qualified women on the maritime labor market.