Today is the celebration of International Maritime Organization (IMO) World Maritime Day, where the 2019 theme is “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community”.
This raises awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and highlights the important – yet under-utilised – contribution of women within the maritime sector.
Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) promotes diversity in the maritime, trading and logistics sectors. WISTA‘s vision is to empower women to lead, with the conviction that gender diversity is key in providing a sustainable future for the shipping industry internationally.
Some 3,000 female professionals form the majority of WISTA members, however male members are also accepted is several national WISTA Associations, like in Norway.
Pia Meling, President of WISTA Norway says, “To bring the discussion on gender equality and diversity from the problem definition phase to finding good solutions, we need to invite men to the table – and especially the male leaders of our industry. WISTA Norway therefore encourages both female and male maritime professionals to become members, the main criteria being they want to drive diversity.”
“We are pleased to announce that Craig Jasienski, CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen, is now a WISTA member. WISTA Norway looks forward to a close cooperation with Craig and Wallenius Wilhelmsen so that we together can attract, retain and empower more females in the maritime industry,” Meling adds.
Craig Jasienski, President & CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen, says, “To build a sustainable future of shipping and logistics, we need to bring together diverse views, experiences and perspectives in a workplace where everyone can thrive. I hope to see many more men join me as members of WISTA, to join the conversation and together build a truly inclusive industry.”
WISTA has a consultative status in IMO and has since its inception in 1974 participated in a number of global initiatives aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in the shipping industry. WISTA has partnered with organisations such as the European Commission, International Chamber of Shipping, InterManager, INTERTANKO, World Maritime University, ISWAN, the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and YoungShip to increase women’s participation in the maritime industry in line with the UN’s sustainable Development Goal 5, (Gender Equality and Empowerment for all Women and Girls)
More than 40 countries support a National WISTA Association, each of which is guided by WISTA International and provide in-country and regional networking, business and skill building opportunities as well as mentoring programs for its members.