Maritime SHeEO conference, a platform lending voices to issues thronging the shipping and maritime industry while recognising the best practices in the industry, was held on November 23 online. The event served as a mouthpiece for pearls of wisdom from the most influential women in the Global maritime industry.
The conference on “Diversity and Sustainability: The Business Case” was organised in collaboration with The Ocean Opportunity Lsb(tOOL) on the TOOL Aquarium digital conference platform.
The founders of Maritime SheEO and TOOL, Sanjam Sahi Gupta and Birgit Marie Liodden, have collaborated on pushing initiatives such as gender diversity in the maritime industry since 2018. They have garnered backing from the Indian and Norwegian governments as well as a growing number of industries, corporates and companies.
The third collaboration partner in this initiative is the SHE community, a Norwegian cross-industry equality group that organises Europe’s biggest gender equality conferences.
The event witnessed productive discussions on pertinent Issues affecting the Shipping and Maritime Industry.
The event witnessed powerful discusions steered by top local and global maritime leaders, registering a turnout of 60plus speakers from 25 countries.
Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Shipping, Ports and Waterways in India delivered the Keynote address in the conference.
“The Maritime industry is one of the few industries that has the lowest number of women workforce. The conference is a welcome step to promote gender equality in the industry.”~Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Shipping, Ports and Waterways
He named Sanjam Sahi Gupta, the Founder of the Maritime SheEO conference and also a member of the Executive Board of Directors, World Maritime University, among the four notable women in maritime in India, the others being Mrs HK Joshi, Capt. Radhika Menon and Marine Pilot Reshma Nilofer.
Kitack Lim, Secretary General, IMO, Ine Eriksen Søreide, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs were some of the keynote speakers of the event.
Anil Devli, Indian National Shipowners Association(INSA), Amitabh Kumar, DG, Shipping, Government of India, spoke about challenges in crew change, need for collaboration of the stakeholders in the industry, lending voice to seafarers, etc.
When asked for suggestions on improving the situation from a seafarer’s perspective, Mr Amitabh Kumar underlined the power of empathy and collaboration and the need to adopt technology in the industry.
“Industry needs to do more to paint an accurate picture of the issues that we are facing now”.~Su Yin Anand,Co-Founder, The Captain’s Table Innovation Challenge
Ms Anand highlighted the importance of the government in ensuring that the issues of the Shipping industry are dealt with, while also calling on the media and the stakeholders of the value and supply chains to work for the industry.
In one of the panel discussions on gender parity, the conference witnessed an enriching session highlighting the need for more inclusivity in the Shipping industry and how women can strengthen their foothold and continue breaking barriers in an industry where they are a sharp minority.
The discussion saw H.K Joshi, CMD, Shipping Corporation of India, Katharina Stanzel,MD Intertanko, UK, Poroma Munshi Rebello, Director,IIPL( India Linx) APL Logistics , Karin Orsel, MD, MF Shipping Group
The discussion steered the flow of thoughts circling around pertinent issues of the seafarer community..
Mrs Joshi spoke about being discriminated surviving in a man’s world.
“Volunteer for tough jobs, don’t look back, network more often and respect diversity” said Poroma Munshi Rebello while being asked what advice she would give to a 20-year old.
“One of the most important things is to treat others the way you wish to be treated.”~Karin Orsel, MD, MF Shipping Group
The conference also shed light on the changing technologies and the trends for the future. It served to steer discussions at “SheEOs smashing stereotypes”, invited suggestions on the quest to decarbonisation and served as a platform for providing companies with the opportunities to showcase their best practices in diversity. The event served to drive discussions towards a more inclusive workplace- both at sea and on shore.