Empowerment focus at women in maritime event

Last week (18 May 2023), professionals from various disciplines within the maritime industry came together to celebrate International Day for Women in Maritime, hosted and sponsored by OCIMF, Trinity House, Maritime UK, and WISTA UK.

This year, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) event focused on “empowering women” and addressing the need for gender diversity in the industry. 

Maritime minister Baroness Vere delivered a powerful message highlighting the importance of recruiting and retaining talented women and men in the maritime industry, while Petra Wilkinson, CBE, director of maritime at the Department for Transport, emphasised the need to maintain the momentum of raising awareness about the careers available for women in maritime. She also highlighted the importance of laying a solid foundation for a prosperous and vibrant sector.

A panel discussion, “Empowering Women in Maritime: Unlocking Opportunities and Driving Change”, brought together individuals from commercial, charity, and government sectors. The panellists Deborah Layde (The Seafarers Charity), Guy Platten (International Chamber of Shipping), Holly Midwinter-Porter (Mandara Capital), Capt. Karen Davis (OCIMF), Monica Kohli (WISTA UK), and Shireen Ali-Khan (Women in Transport), moderated by Sue Terpilowski OBE Image Line, shared lessons from their personal experiences and discussed strategies to increase diversity and inclusion within organisations.

Strong leadership, empowering culture and visible support from top executives were identified as crucial factors for successful diversity initiatives, with the panelists emphasising that a supportive and inclusive culture is key to creating better workplaces where employees feel a sense of belonging.

The panellists also recognised the need to learn from and collaborate with other sectors, such as rail, aviation, finance, construction and logistics, to accelerate progress in achieving diversity and inclusion goals.

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