The culture of women operating in leadership roles in the Maritime Industry across the world is on the rise, and all efforts should be made to sustain this.
This was the message from Deputy Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Claudia Grant, who addressed a Women in Maritime Association, Caribbean (WiMAC) webinar, on Tuesday, May 17.
The webinar was held under the theme ‘A Culture of Women Leadership in the Maritime Industry: Getting There – an Equal Road for All’, in recognition of the inaugural International Day for Women in Maritime, which is being observed on Wednesday, May 18.
The date was designated by Member States at the 32nd International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Assembly in December 2021, to provide an opportunity to highlight and celebrate women in the Maritime Industry by acknowledging and paying tribute to their accomplishments.
Mrs. Grant said that it is imperative to keep the momentum going and highlighted that a global declaration of a day to acknowledge the importance of the contribution of women to the maritime industry points to notable progress.
“I believe the culture of women leadership is on the ascendancy. There is heightened awareness internationally, locally and at the entity level of the ascendancy of the culture. Efforts are being made to consciously pursue strategies to facilitate and support this, for example, through the Sustainable Development Goals, International Maritime Organisation and the International Labour Organisation,” Mrs. Grant noted.
“For this evolution to continue and reach its potential, it also requires us (women in the industry) who are here today to drive and sustain this culture and for those coming to perpetuate it,” she added.
In his message to recognise the day, IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, said that the observance will promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector, and support work to address the current gender imbalance within the industry.
He urged maritime interests around the world to “take this opportunity to celebrate the many women who are contributing to the future of maritime – navigators, engineers, surveyors, CEOs, managers, representatives of government and industry, those chairing IMO organ meetings and women in every other role across the industry”.
The Secretary General also pointed out that there is still a gender imbalance in maritime but noted that times are changing as it becomes recognised that diversity in maritime benefits the entire sector.
“It is not about your gender; it is about what you can do. At IMO, through training, visibility, recognition, we aim to support a barrier-free working environment for Women in Maritime. Let’s work to break down barriers and ensure that we create a work environment that is enabling, supportive and inclusive of diverse participation by all, without hindrance in the maritime community,” he said.
The IMO is observing the Day under the theme ‘Training-Visibility-Recognition: Supporting a Barrier-Free Working Environment’.