Nor-Shipping 2019 saw ABS hold its first ‘Empower Hour’, an opportunity for women innovators to network and discuss trends in the maritime industry. The event was developed in support of IMO World Maritime Day 2019 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The event, held at the ABS booth, provided an informal platform for some of the industry’s female leaders to share knowledge and inspire the next generation of women to join and lead the industry forward. ABS EVP and Senior Maritime Advisor Kirsi Tikka and ABS SVP of Marketing and Communications Cathy Mann welcomed guests from across the marine and offshore sectors, as well as representatives from IMO. Ms Mann explained the rationale behind the event, which was held alongside regular ABS events at the popular trade show. “We hosted the Empower Hour to help elevate women within the industry and to be able to collectively bring all our voices together. We want to create a stronger voice for women across the industry, to empower, uplift and promote each other and to celebrate and share our accomplishments. We are contributing and accomplishing amazing things, and I think it’s important we celebrate these achievements and what they mean to the industry.”
While some job roles in the maritime and offshore industries see strong female participation, there is an identified need to encourage more women into leadership positions at sea and ashore, something that requires education and promotion. As Ms Tikka explained, “whether we can meet the magnitude of this challenge depends on educational opportunities that girls have in their home countries.” “We’ve already come a long way in terms of numbers and the positions that women hold but we still need more women in leadership roles so that young women have role models they can look up to and also people they can relate to.” IMO World Maritime Day is an annual event, whose theme for 2019 is ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’.
The IMO believes that doing so fuels thriving economies across the world, spurs growth and development and benefits everyone working in the global maritime community in the drive towards safe, secure, clean and sustainable shipping.
World Maritime Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals, and to highlight the important – but often under-utilised - contribution of women within the maritime sector.
The theme for World Maritime Day gives IMO the opportunity to work with a number of maritime stakeholders towards achieving the UN SDGs, particularly SDG 5, to foster an environment in which women are identified and selected for career development opportunities in maritime administrations, ports and maritime training institutes and to encourage more conversation for gender equality in the maritime space.