The Forum was established in 2012 to advance and empower women in the maritime industry. It creates a platform to discuss women’s issues in the industry and ways to encourage women to join the industry, and to promote training programmes enabling women to better compete for positions at all levels, including those previously not open to women. In addition to annual meetings, members of
Jeanine Drummond, general manager operations and deputy harbor master at Sydney Port Authority of New South Wales, Australia, was appointed as the vice-chair for the Asia, South East, and Oceania region.
Elizabeth Blanchard, port commissioner of Port of Stockton, California, United States, was appointed as the vice-chair for the America, North region at the Baku conference in May 2018. Blanchard has been involved with the IAPH Women’s Forum since it was founded. A port commissioner since 2008, she is a professor emeritus of San Joaquin Delta College psychology department and the University of the Pacific School of Education. Among her present positions, she is the president of the Association of Pacific Ports.
In addition, during its Baku meeting in May, the Forum addressed the issue of cultural diversity in global shipping and logistics chains, with a focus on the following:
- The chair’s introduction of a booklet summarising the objectives and programme of the IAPH Women’s Forum
- Vice-chairs' report on their ports' initiatives about women in maritime
- Annual meeting scholarship awardee Ngozi Obikili, from the Nigerian Ports Authority, gave her presentation entitled ‘Enhancing the productivity of women in the maritime industry through workplace health and wellness initiatives’. It is available on the IAPH Women’s Forum Facebook page.
- A special speech from Naomi Kogon-Steinberg, founder of and adviser to the Women’s Forum, urging members to actively pursue its goals and objectives.
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