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18th May 2022 – The first International Day for Women in Maritime


Maritime Transportation has been and still remains the backbone of global trade since the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Indians, Chinese, and Europeans all started sailing and improvising the sailing methods from sailboats, dhows, long boats, dragon boats, steamships to the current ULCVs, VLOCs, VLCCs and more..

Maritime transportation is a derived demand whose main purpose is to support trade, business and commerce – whether global or domestic, whether cargo or people and covers anything related to the ocean, sea, ships, navigation of ships from point A to point B, seafarers, ship owning and other related activities..

The estimated 89.5% of global trade carried by sea, falls within the maritime sector.. The growth, numbers and volume involved, makes the maritime industry one of the most globalized industries in the world in terms of ownership and operations..

Below are the various vessel types carrying global trade and commerce and the percentage of its DWT vs Monetary value..

Vessel DWT vs Value

Not just in terms of ownership, the Maritime industry also provides employment for an estimated 1.65 million seafarers working in the global merchant fleet across the world..

However, women seafarers make up just 2% of the crewing workforce most of whom are found in the cruise sector, while in shipowning companies they made up 34% of the workforce.. Search and rescue teams in national maritime authorities account for significantly fewer women staff (just 10%) as compared to female diplomats (33%) and training staff (30%)..

These details are contained in an IMO-WISTA (Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association) Women in Maritime Survey Report, launched on the first IMO International Day for Women in Maritime – the 18th of May 2022..

The survey was conducted in 2021 through online assessments sent to IMO Member States and companies as part of the 2020 IMO-WISTA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on promoting greater diversity and inclusion through enhanced cooperation activities in the maritime sector..

The MoU aims to set a framework for both IMO and WISTA to promote gender diversity and inclusion as vital factors in providing a sustainable future for the shipping industry worldwide..

In a press release, WISTA International President Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou said, “The knowledge we have gathered about gender diversity in the maritime industry through this first Women in Maritime Survey 2021 is an important step in our ambition to create holistic gender diversity. As a first snapshot, this survey gives telling evidence of how much work still needs to be done. But it also shows us where there are a few bright spots. The maritime industry can see for itself which sectors are pushing ahead with diversity, and which are not.

The report highlights that women account for only 29% of the overall workforce in the general industry and 20% of the workforce of national maritime authorities in Member States..

Commenting on the report, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, “Benchmarking the current state of the sector is vital to measure where we are, and where we need to go. The Women in Maritime Survey 2021 shines a spotlight on areas in which IMO Member States and the wider maritime industry are performing well – and, more importantly, those where additional attention, resources and encouragement are needed. By actively empowering women with the requisite skills, maintaining a barrier free working environment, we create truly sustainable systems of gender equality.

To commemorate this special day, the IMO has created a nifty logo with a great concept “Symbol of Women in Maritime” merging the female gender symbol and iconic maritime anchor symbol..International Women in Maritime Day

International Women in Maritime Day


To all the women in maritime – THANK YOU for all your services and support to global trade and wishing you more success, more visibility, more acceptance, and more opportunities in the years to come..

I have featured a few women in shipping and maritime on my site, but there is still more to be covered.. So, feel free to suggest the names of women in our industry that you think should receive more recognition, please reach out to with some details including their contact details and I will do my best to make it happen.. 

Pls also feel free to share some images of women in maritime working on board ships which I can share on my site to get more visibility and recognition for the ladies..


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