Maritime Speakers Bureau boasts over 100 experts

More than 100 women leaders have registered as speakers on the new Maritime Speakers Bureau platform since it was launched less than a month ago. The platform was created by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA International) in Geneva. Its purpose is to encourage women in maritime to register as speakers for events where they can inspire, educate and engage with audiences throughout the maritime industries.

The Speakers Bureau hopes to end the tradition of all-male speaking panels. It provides a database of women who are experts in their field and are available to speak on a broad range of topics from decarbonisation, law and regulations through to AI, robotics, naval architecture and more. IMO and WISTA International are committed to ensuring that sector conferences and events have diversity of thought and believe inclusive panels are the most efficient way to achieve this initiative.

“IMO and WISTA International are committed to promoting and making the voices of women in the shipping industry heard,” says Elpi Petraki, president of WISTA International (pictured above). “Increasing the number of women speaking at events will not only enhance the quality of discussions by providing a more diverse range of perspectives – which is essential when discussing how to address the challenges we face as an industry – but it will also highlight the leadership roles held by women, therefore creating more role models for the next generation. The excellent response we have received in the short time since the platform launched highlights the industry’s appetite to hear from a variety of people and the need to make the process of finding speakers easier. Another great advantage is that speakers and event organisers can register and use the platform for free.”

IMO’s council has also acted to create an IMO Gender Equality Award. The award will recognise persons, irrespective of their gender and rank, who work in the maritime sector, including governments, industry, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, and who have made a verifiable contribution to the empowerment of women in the maritime sector at the national, regional or international level. The first award will be made in 2024.

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