The IMO and the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA International) have launched the inaugural Women in Maritime – IMO and WISTA International Survey 2021.
The survey aims to examine the proportion and distribution of women working in the maritime sector, from support roles to executive level positions.
It is also part of a series of activities in order to lead to further discussions on how to build a more diverse workforce within the maritime sector. The results by the survey will help build a picture of diversity and gender equality in the industry.
The launch of the study comes after the 2020 signing of the IMO-WISTA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which aims to promote greater diversity and inclusion by using enhanced cooperation activities in the maritime sector.
Commenting on the collaboration, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said:
Diversity in maritime matters. Empowering women fuels thriving economies across the world, spurs growth and development, and benefits everyone working in the global maritime community and beyond. We need solid data on female participation, as this will enable us to track and quantify our ambitions in what has traditionally been a male-dominated sector
In addition, Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, President at WISTA International, noted that having comparable data is a key component when creating programmes and proposing policies that will increase the participation of women in maritime.
It is an essential step forward in creating a more diverse and inclusive environment in our sector. With our global reach we can amplify the strength of this survey to show real results and back our drive towards an inclusive maritime sector
What is more, in addition to the just-launched survey, other initiatives under the IMO-WISTA MoU include the development of a database of female experts in various maritime subjects who are available for speaking engagements.
Furthermore, the IMO-WISTA MoU also hopes to enhance cooperation and share best practices between the IMO-established regional Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs) and WISTA International’s National WISTA Associations (NWAs).
In 2019, the IMO Assembly adopted Resolution A.1147(31) on Preserving the legacy of the World Maritime theme for 2019 and Achieving a Barrier-Free Working Environment for Women in the Maritime Sector. This urges firm action to advance gender equality throughout the maritime sector and help create a work environment that promotes equality, diversity and reduces bias.
The IMO and WISTA International survey is open to IMO Member States, IGOs, NGOs, public and private companies in the maritime sector and maritime training establishments. There are two separate surveys to be completed by Member States and industry.
The 2021 inaugural survey is conducted by IHS Markit on behalf of IMO, and will be repeated every three years. The aim is to support implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 5 on gender equality, SDG 8 on decent work, and SDG 17 on partnerships.