WISTA conference and AGM in Geneva highlighted the importance of “collaborating for sustainability” and achieving gender equality

Elpi Petraki, President of WISTA International

At the AGM, held on October 26 in Geneva, Switzerland, WISTA International members voted unanimously to approve two new countries as members, the United Arab Emirates and Denmark, bringing the total number to 56.

Ms. Jocelyn Hansen, President of WISTA Denmark commented: “As the newly elected President of WISTA Denmark, I have the privilege of being here in Geneva at the AGM and the international conference of WISTA. It is a fantastic opportunity to present the newly re-established WISTA Denmark and bring together women in industry around the world to network and share knowledge and expertise.

Ms. Rania Tadros, President of WISTA UAE, said, “I am truly honored to be the Chairman of WISTA UAE and look forward to working with the many people in the industry who are also committed to diversity and inclusion. Attending the AGM in Geneva and meeting leading women in the industry really inspired me and our mission is to grow WISTA in the UAE, through recognizing and promoting the important contribution women make to industry.

The WISTA International Conference, held October 27-28, 2022, brought together maritime industry leaders who explored the conference theme “Collaboration for Sustainability” and “Cross-Industry Solutions for the Future” of the industry.

During the 1.5-day conference, WISTA International members and guests from around the world shared their knowledge and experiences and discussed decarbonization and ocean health. They also discussed the challenges faced in attracting talent to the maritime sector, the importance of diverse voices within the workforce and the actions needed to secure the future of the industry.

In his opening speech at the conference, Secretary General Lim Kitack of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) underlined the essential role played by WISTA International in the development of a sustainable future.

Mr. Kitack said: “The IMO is founded on the principles of collaboration between Member States, NGOs and IGOs, all of whom must work together to ensure a sustainable future for shipping and the industry at large. As one of the international non-governmental organizations participating in IMO discussions, WISTA International is an important part of this collaborative effort. The maritime world is changing rapidly and we must seize every opportunity to ensure a greener and safer future. IMO is committed to making maritime transport more welcoming for women, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 5, which aspires to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” .

Maritime is still a male-dominated industry

Women make up only 29% of the global marine industry workforce

20% of the female workforce of national maritime authorities in the Member States

Women working at sea is 1.2% percent

IMO-WISTA’s inaugural Women in Maritime Survey, released to coincide with International Women in Maritime Day, showed that women make up just 29% of the global workforce in general industry – and 20% of the workforce of national maritime authorities in the maritime sector. Member States. The proportion of women working at sea is much lower – only 1.2 percent.

“The most important factor in shaping our collective future is ensuring that new waves of female leaders are encouraged. Through our partnership with WISTA International, the IMO Women in Maritime program has sponsored 30 women from developing countries to attend the first SheEO Maritime Leadership Accelerator program in 2022. This eight-week program was such a success that we have sponsored a second group of women leaders. , who will graduate later this year. He concluded.

5 panels and 3 workshops to empower women while promoting sustainability, diversity and innovation

The WISTA International Conference was based on two main pillars of knowledge and collaboration to unlock the full potential of the maritime industry. The program included five panels and three workshops.

· First round table: A NEW ENERGY LANDSCAPE, by Maryana Yarmolenko Stober, President of WISTA Switzerland and Associate General Counsel EMEA, ADM. And The Black Sea Grain Initiative: Moving Ships in a War-Risk Zone by Fred Kenney, Director, Legal and External Affairs, IMO.

· The second panel: CONFLICT, TRADE AND FOOD SECURITY, was moderated by Olena Isaieva, Head of Solutions for the Commodities Sector, KPMG.


The fourth panel: MARITIME DECARBONIZATION was moderated by Helena Athoussaki, Head of ESG, Sustainability and Climate Change, Motor Oil Group.

Panel Five: OCEAN HEALTH – How is the maritime industry engaging in collaborative approaches to advancing solutions and their adoption? Moderator: Gina Panayiotou, ESG Manager, West of England P&I Club.

The second day conference held three workshops:

AWS Workshop – WISTA Switzerland: Diversity can drive innovation in a fairer world

Sustainable Intrapreneurship – Promoting innovation for sustainability within an organization

Empowering women in commerce: how policies, training and ESG will be the catalyst for success

The closing speech was Dorothea Ioannou, CEO of the American P&I Club and member of WISTA, who delivered a powerful speech “The growing number of women in leadership roles, myself included, particularly in male-dominated industries like marine insurance, reflects the natural evolution of a changing talent pool. . But that’s not all. (…) I was lucky enough to work for an organization that was and still is gender neutral. (…) I did this with the support of many people along the way and this is the key idea that I want to share with you all. It is in the power of each of us to make a difference. Create an environment where we don’t just empower people. But where we enable people, we, as managers and employers and generally as professionals, have an obligation to cultivate an environment that opens avenues for those we identify as able to take on more and who want to take on more. more. (…) And I like the word allow, that we become that person with whom and for whom others want to work, and above all, that we prepare those around us and that we arrive behind us to occupy our space before leaving it . (…) To reach a point where the first feminine nothing is no longer relevant, we must reflect on what we are doing, individually and then collectively in organizations, to get there.

Elpi Petraki, President of WISTA International: “The exchanges throughout this conference have strongly demonstrated that, whether the issues are related to decarbonization, diversity or ESG, the most effective solutions are achieved through collaboration. As the new President of WISTA International, I look forward to building on the progressive approach established in Geneva and the standards established by my predecessor to promote sustainability and innovation, enhance diversity and achieve gender equality in maritime industries. By working together, we can bring about real change for the good of all.

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