The first International Day for Women in Maritime being held today provides a platform to highlight and celebrate the achievements of women in maritime and identify areas of improvement for gender balance.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “There is still a gender imbalance in maritime – but times are changing. It is recognized that diversity in maritime benefits the entire sector. Women in maritime are working everywhere to support the transition to a decarbonized, digitalized and more sustainable future.
“Let’s take this opportunity to celebrate the many women who are contributing to the future of maritime: maintaining an engine on a ship, running a company, drawing up a contract, surveying a vessel, or chairing an IMO committee meeting.
“While there is much to celebrate, there is also the need for more progress to be made,” he added.
IMO is marking the occasion with a virtual symposium, the release of a women in maritime report and a social media campaign. IMO has unveiled an iconic new logo to mark the occasion (pictured).
IMO’s virtual symposium (14:00 – 16:30 BST) will explore the theme of “Training-Visibility-Recognition: Supporting a barrier-free working environment for Women in Maritime”. The symposium will highlight the need for women to be more visible throughout the sector as a whole; more widely represented at decision-making levels; and better supported through appropriate skills development. Register to attend the event here.
IMO will also launch the inaugural IMO-WISTA International survey results. The report contains information about the proportion and distribution of women working in the maritime sector, based on information provided by IMO Member States and the maritime industry. The survey uses data from IMO Member States and the maritime industry to benchmark the current gender balance of the maritime workforce and indicate areas of success and those where more progress is needed.
On social media, IMO invites women in maritime to share images of themselves in their working environments using the hashtag #WomenInMaritimeDay. IMO also invites allies to share images of themselves with the woman/women in maritime who make their working lives better.
IMO is working to address the current gender imbalance in maritime and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality. IMO has a longstanding Women in Maritime programme. In 2019, the World Maritime theme was “Empowering women in the maritime community”, with numerous activities promoting gender equality in maritime. At the end of 2019, IMO Member States at the IMO Assembly adopted a resolution pledging to ensure the legacy of 2019 would continue.
In 2021, the IMO Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming an International Day for Women in Maritime on 18 May each year. The day celebrates women in the industry and is intended to promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector and raise the profile of women in maritime.