SheCEO initiative for Wista and maritime industry
Wista Bermuda, the local chapter of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association, will take advantage of the Wista International programme development for two initiatives aimed at supporting women rising in the maritime industry.
Wista International is launching SheCEO, a training programme to develop women CEOs in the maritime sector, in conjunction with the International Maritime Organisation, industry specialists and university professors.
It is also developing a Speakers Bureau — a website directory of women in the maritime industry willing to act as panellists and speakers at conferences and other events.
In fact, four directors of Wista Bermuda returned recently from the 42nd Wista International AGM and Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
They joined with more than 300 women maritime professionals under the theme of “Collaboration for Sustainability — Cross-Industry Solutions for the Future”, understanding that it is only together that they can make lasting change.
The speakers and panellists at the conference addressed subjects such as technology, fuel types, climate change, sustainability, DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and supply chain.
One of the speakers was Fred Kennedy, the IMO negotiator in the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the agreement among Russia, Ukraine and Turkey to transport grain from Ukraine. Also of note was the demonstration of advances in autonomous vessels and AI technology.
The Wista International network includes 54 National Associations and 3,800 members aimed at minimising the gender leadership gap in the maritime sector.
Tammy L. Richardson-Augustus, press officer for Wista Bermuda, said women are employed in less than 2 per cent of all maritime industry jobs.
She said: “Through Wista Bermuda our members can get access to these new programmes, which are just being put in place at the international level.
“CEOs will have access to stellar leadership and strategic training from the best of the best.
"It will mean that women can be represented as thought leaders in this space.“
The local organisation’s sixth-anniversary celebrations last month heard from Bermuda president Heather Cooper of the importance of Wista Bermuda.
She said: “Simply put, life in Bermuda depends on the shipping and trade industry and as women make up 50 per cent of the population, we can and do make a difference.”
She added: “One needs to think globally, to think about the technology, communication and logistics behind transporting items — the types of expertise needed, engineers, architects, freight and cargo agents, environmentalists, warehouse logistics managers, human resources, IT, finance, drivers, pilots, vehicle technicians.
“Many of us are adjacent to the shipping and trade industry and don’t realise it; nor do we realise how critical the fluidity of trade is to a comfortable life in Bermuda.”
Wista Bermuda said the anniversary events provided an opportunity to both celebrate and encourage women in the shipping industry to join Wista Bermuda so they can take advantage of the networking and educational offerings afforded to members of the international network.