International Day for Women in Maritime

May 18th is the International Day for Women in Maritime, an annual event initiated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) of the United Nations. The purpose of this day is to highlight women's participation in the industry and emphasize the efforts to include more women.

Portrett av fiskeri- og havminister Marianne Sivertsen Næss.
Fisheries and Ocean Minister Marianne Sivertsen Næss Credit: NFD

"This is an important observance and a clear signal that we both want and need a more gender-equal maritime industry. Gender equality is not only a crucial value in itself but also essential for fostering a good working environment, driving innovation, and ensuring future value creation," says Fisheries and Ocean Minister Marianne Sivertsen Næss.

The maritime sector is an international industry with significant competition. This industry, which includes shipping companies, shipyards, equipment, and service providers, ensures value creation and employment along the entire coast. The sector must attract labor and maintain its competitive edge in the face of societal changes, and it is crucial to ensure recruitment from the entire population. The Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy encourages everyone to mark this important day and to support women in the maritime industry

"The day gives us an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made towards gender equality in the maritime industry, while recognising that there is still much work ahead. Addressing attitudes and improving working environments remain major challenges. We are actively working on this in the follow-up to the government's gender equality strategy, and in the ongoing work with a declaration of cooperation with the industry," says the Fisheries and Ocean Minister.

For the first time today, IMO is also presenting its Gender Equality Award, recognising individuals who have made significant contributions to promoting gender equality and empowering women in the maritime sector. The award goes to Despina Panayioto Theodosiou from Cyprus, former president of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA). 

"Theodosiou has done outstanding work in promoting gender equality in the maritime sector during her presidency, both nationally and globally. She is a worthy recipient of IMO's first Gender Equality Award. Congratulations to her," says Fisheries and Ocean Minister Marianne Sivertsen Næss.