We were recently intrigued by an article by Fairplay editor Richard Clayton claiming that shipping is 'a man's world'. We thought about it, and posted it on the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) Facebook page to see what they had to say.
We thought they were the perfect people to respond to the article and ask what they thought of the statement. Their reply came of great interest to us, so do read on…
Karin Orsel, President, WISTA International, said "Yes, shipping is considered as a man's world – but does it really differ that much from any other industry? We don't think so as in the majority of industries there is a lack of women on board level, in management positions, role models, etc. We simply love to work within this industry because it is a no-nonsense industry, not because it is considered as a man's world.
"Elisabeth Grieg, Katarina Stanzel, Sue Williams, Sanjam Gupta, Mfong Ekong Usoro, Renee Klimczak are role models to both men and women working in this industry. Their life stories, careers and often the voluntary jobs added on top of that are inspirational to listen to. I dare to state that it is not a coincidence that they are WISTA members and we are very proud to have them amongst our membership. Within the maritime industry these ladies are more than once asked as speakers because they are visible, share their opinion, are outspoken and encourage plus inspire all of us.
"Yes, during many conferences there is not a balance of 50/50 men and women speaking, but that is not due to the fact that there are no capable women. It is a question of standing up, being visible and willing to share your opinion. We have very qualified members who are the top of the bill and who are more than willing to speak on any subject; I challenge you to make use of this huge potential group of speakers- why don't you challenge us!
"We, just like all the major shipping associations, share the same passion for our industry and know that the only way to achieve something in this world/ life is to work together and strengthen forces."
The Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) is an international organization for women in management positions involved in maritime transportation business and related trades worldwide. WISTA aims to be a major player in attracting more women to the industry and in supporting women in management positions. WISTA is active in 31 countries and has almost 2,000 individual members worldwide. Over the past years WISTA has strengthened cooperation with amongst others, the IMO, ICS, Intertanko, Intercargo, Intermanager, Bimco, IAHP, Propeller Club, Youngship International and the ITF. To find out more, visit www.wista.net