Mersey Maritime hosts first regional WISTA UK event celebrating diversity


Mersey Maritime in collaboration with WISTA UK, successfully marked the first regional event for WISTA UK in 2024 with the conclusion of their ‘Diversity in Maritime’ networking evening held at HMS Eaglet in Liverpool last week. The gathering brought together industry leaders and professionals for a networking and knowledge-sharing session.

As part of its 50th-anniversary celebrations, WISTA UK will continue to host various regional activities across the UK throughout the year.

The event featured insightful discussions on the crucial topics of diversity and inclusion, featuring contributions from a number of speakers, including Ruth Wood, CEO of Mersey Maritime and newly appointed WISTA UK Ambassador; Monica Kohli, President of WISTA UK; Commodore Tom Knowles, VR ADC Royal Navy, Naval Regional Commander; Samantha Brocklehurst, Customer Experience Director at Maersk; David Whyte, Deputy Director Maritime, Department for Transport; Capt. Lee Clarke, General Manager, Isle of Man Maritime.

Reflecting on the event, Ruth Wood, CEO of Mersey Maritime, commented: “It has been a pleasure to host the first regional WISTA event here in the North West alongside our Partners, Maersk and Royal Navy.

“To be asked to serve as the North West WISTA Ambassador is a privilege and an honour. This role underscores the importance of fostering connections, promoting diversity, and advancing opportunities within our region’s maritime landscape. We look forward to the continued collaboration and collective efforts that will contribute to a more diverse and inclusive maritime industry in the North West and beyond.”

Samantha Brocklehurst, Customer Experience Director at Maersk, commented: “Respect for diversity is a core value at Maersk. Our targets to achieve over 40% representation of women in management and leadership roles and more than 30% diversity in nationality amongst executives by 2025 reflects our dedication to cultivating an inclusive workplace.

“Events like these provide a valuable platform to contribute to an industry-wide conversation on diversity and inclusion, inspiring positive change. It not only allows us to showcase our commitment to creating a workplace that values and celebrates diversity but also aligns with our broader corporate goals. We extend our thanks to Mersey Maritime and WISTA UK for facilitating and bringing together industry leaders to engage in a meaningful discussion on this crucial matter. Collaboration is the cornerstone of driving impactful change, and events like these play a significant role in advancing diversity and inclusion in our sector.”

Monica Kohli, President of WISTA UK, reflected on the event, saying: “As I ponder our journey, from three women meeting at ‘Ye old Cheshire Cheese’ in London in 1974, witnessing the inception of WISTA UK, to our status as a global force in the sector today with 59 WISTA International Associations worldwide and a network of more than 4,300 female professionals across all sectors of the maritime industry I feel privileged to be leading the organisation.

“A noteworthy milestone in this remarkable journey was WISTA International’s achievement in gaining consultative status at the IMO. Reaching our 50-year milestone is a significant achievement, and it’s one we take immense pride in.

“However, our journey is far from over; there is still much more to do. WISTA UK is on a growth trajectory, highlighted by our achievement of the highest number of members in 2023. These regional events play a vital role in contributing to our ongoing mission of promoting diversity and inclusion in the maritime industry.”

Mersey Maritime and WISTA UK extend their gratitude to all participants and look forward to continued collaboration in advancing diversity and inclusion within the maritime sector.