Will You Take the Pledge for Inclusion of Women in Shipping?

Credit: WISTA
Credit: WISTA

By The Maritime Executive 03-06-2019 06:15:07

The Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) has launched its inclusion pledge which addresses the under representation of women in the maritime industry.

The pledge is a series of statements aimed at embracing diversity through individual action and personal responsibility. Individuals are encouraged to sign the pledge in support of a diverse and inclusive maritime sector. The pledge can be found online on the WISTA International website or Change.org.

Signatories of the pledge commit to "Embrace diversity of thought (including gender, race, ethnicity, and age) and contribute to a merit-based business environment within my organisation. I will be a champion of equal opportunity and equal pay. My behavior will reflect how I wish our industry to behave in the future. I will work - and encourage others to work - toward a diverse and inclusive maritime sector."

WISTA International President Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou said: "We geared this pledge to individuals, for we feel strongly that individuals have the power to bring about change."

In 2018, WISTA International appointed a Diversity Committee to focus on practical solutions to increase opportunities for gender diversity in the maritime industry. Writing a pledge to challenge the community to advance diversity and inclusion was a mandate of the committee.

WISTA has produced a Gender Diversity Manual in conjunction with ISWAN and Anglo-Eastern.

Formed in 1974, WISTA International is a global networking organization for female managers in the shipping industry, with more than 3,000 members worldwide, and 45 national WISTA associations. The number of associations continues to grow, and earlier this month a national association was established in Chile.

WISTA was approved for consultative status with the IMO in July 2018, providing the organization with a formal voice for supporting IMO work in a variety of areas. 

Last week IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim gave an address on empowering women in the maritime community, the World Maritime Day theme for this year. The theme provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG5, and to highlight the important, yet under-utilized, contribution of women within the maritime sector.