Kitack Lim and Petra Wilkinson honoured in a special ceremony celebrating contributions to diversity in the maritime sector


The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association UK (WISTA UK) held a special ceremony at the IMO headquarters on Friday, 6 October. The occasion served as the official platform to present Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the IMO, with his WISTA UK Man of the Year award. He could not attend the Annual IMO Summer Reception held by WISTA UK in June where Petra Wilkinson CBE, received her Woman of the Year award.

Mr Lim’s accolade recognises his unwavering dedication to championing diversity and inclusion within the maritime industry. His endeavours have played a seminal role in propelling WISTA UK and its international counterpart. The event will mark the final official occasion for WISTA UK to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Mr Lim as he concludes his term at the IMO.

Petra Wilkinson CBE, Director of Maritime at the Department for Transport, also graced the occasion. Her award acknowledges her laudable commitment to diversity and inclusion, fortified by a wealth of 33 years of experience in maritime operations, strategy, and programmes.

Members of the WISTA UK board presented the award to Kitack Lim. Monica Kohli, President of WISTA UK, said: “The ceremony not only celebrates our esteemed honourees but also accentuates the imperative need for a more inclusive maritime sector. Their tireless work has been instrumental in advocating for an industry that truly represents the diversity of the community it serves.”

WISTA UK continues to focus on nurturing the next generation through its commitment to the Maritime London Officer Cadet Scholarship (MLOCS). The programme aims to raise £30,000 this year to fund a female Sea Cadet Scholarship. “It’s a significant initiative that addresses the gender gap and promotes equal opportunities within maritime careers,” commented Baroness Vere, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport (Aviation, Maritime and Security).

This ceremony illustrates the importance of fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion in maritime industries, both within the UK and internationally.