The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) has announced a new initiative aimed at seafarers. WISTA Norway, WISTA UK, WISTA Singapore, WISTA Brazil, and WISTA Argentina have come together to offer free WISTA membership for seafarers through 31 August 2020. Membership allows seafarers to access the largest network of female managers in the shipping industry, as well as online seminars, webinars and workshops. The idea for the project came from WISTA Norway.
Pia Meling, the president of WISTA Norway, explains why this initiative is taken: “While most of the world is on lockdown there is a group of people; the seafarers, out on the oceans working hard to deliver energy to markets and food to homes. Due to border closures and stringent disembarking restrictions, a majority of the seafarers have now been onboard for longer than their regular working period. This project is an appreciation for all that they do, and a connection to the greater community.”
With many countries implementing stay at home orders, WISTA workshops and seminars have gone online, making WISTA activities more accessible to seafarers who may be at sea for months at a time. Many National WISTA Associations (NWA), including WISTA Norway and WISTA Singapore, have opened their virtual activities to members all over the world.
“WISTA embraces seafarers as a key component of our membership. I hope this project expands the number of seafarers who view WISTA as an important part of their professional development and network,” says Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, president of WISTA International. “WISTA Norway has been a visionary within the WISTA organisation. They spearheaded this project, which really exemplifies the values of WISTA: professional, dynamic, open-minded and committed.”
“Each of us can benefit from learning, sharing and furthering our capabilities during this challenging time. As the leading voice for women in the industry, we want seafarers to know that their views, input and hands-on perspectives are welcome and we encourage them to share their stories,” says Meling.
WISTA International is an international networking organisation for female managers in the shipping industry. WISTA International is comprised of 51 NWAs around the world and more than 3,500 members. WISTA was approved for consultative status with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in July 2018, providing the organisation with a formal voice for supporting IMO work in a variety of areas. WISTA works with a wide variety of global maritime and governmental bodies to support professional development, opportunities and networking for female managers in the maritime industry.
Seafarers from or working in Norway, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Brazil or Argentina interested in free membership through 31 August 2020 should contact their National WISTA Association. A list of NWAs can be found online at: wistainternational.com.