Women in Maritime: Making their mark

Although maritime was not a childhood calling for everyone, many have found it to be a fantastic working environment in which they enjoy strong, personable, and valuable connections. That said, even those who extol its many virtues admit that there are areas where shipping must do better, one of which is attracting and retaining talent.

Much focus is paid to making the industry more attractive to the younger generation, but efforts to make maritime more welcoming to women also need attention. While it would be easy to label this as a problem that shipping needs to address itself, the fact is that career paths are often shaped much earlier.

An experience at a parent-teacher meeting in a leafy west London school was a case in point. The response of “I’m in shipping” to the question “So what do you do?” was met with palpable disbelief as the education professional tried to align the dress and shoes with their expectations of the maritime world. It turns out that promoting shipping as an occupation had never made the cut when it came to the careers advice being dispensed across all-girl secondary schools.

It just so happens that four out of the five publications in the IHS Markit Maritime and Trade portfolio have female editors: IHS Markitand Dredging and Port Construction are led by women that are passionate about the industry and its global reach. While shipping is certainly a male-dominated industry, there are a significant number of capable women plying their trade across the various sectors every day. These individuals derive immense satisfaction for getting the job done well, often while juggling multiple responsibilities.

While many of these women will not rise through the ranks to senior positions, some set a fine example for those joining or already working in maritime. In recognition of their achievements, IHS Markit has put together an editorially-led guide of some of the high-profile women making their mark in the maritime world, a project that has seen us reach out across the globe to those that have proven their leadership skills or are on the rise in their specific sectors.

The final list of more than 60 individuals that were selected for this project range from shipowners and insurance executives to ship masters and service providers, showing the breadth of the effects that women are making despite being a minority in this sector.

As can be expected, the experiences of those profiled has varied dramatically, with some describing a level playing field with their male peers when it comes to their careers and their efforts being recognised in a merit-based fashion. By contrast, others highlight the challenges that they had been forced to overcome or are still battling against in their day-to-day working life, and point to the steps that they would like to see that would address the issues and ensure that more women progress to management level.

While the narratives may veer in different directions, there is a common thread that unites all these women: their drive. Each of the leaders in this supplement has displayed their commitment to the sector on a daily basis and serve as an inspirational example for the incoming generations of women in the maritime sphere.

See who’s been profiled:

Alexa Aponte Vago, Mediterranean Shipping Group
Maria Angelicoussis, Angelicoussis Shipping Group
Cecilia Battistello, Contship Italia Group
Hadiza Bala Usman, Nigerian Ports Authority
Inga Beale, Lloyd’s
Katherine Birchall, North P&I Club
Violeta Bulc, European Commission
Helen Buni, IMO
Molly Campbell, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Angela Chao, Foremost Group
Sabrina Chao, Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings
Randee Day, Goldin Maritime
Astrid de Bréon, Bourbon
Helen Deeble, Carnival Corporation
Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, World Maritime University
Ingrid Due-Gundersen, Höegh Autoliners
Rebecca Dye, Federal Maritime Commissioner
Diane Edwards, Ports of Auckland
Ilya Espino de Marotta, Panama Canal Authority
Jasamin Fichte, Fichte & Co
Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Seafarers’ Rights International
Angeliki Frangou, Navios Group
Jeanne Grasso, Blank Rome
Elisabeth and Camilla Grieg, Grieg Shipping
Tracey Gunnlaugsson, SeaRiver Maritime
Helle Hammer, Cefor
Louise Hall, Shipowners’ P&I Club
Carmelita Hartoto, Indonesian National Shipowners’ Association
Amanda Hastings, Thomas Miller
Kristin Hoth, DNB
Carol Howle, BP Shipping
Dorothea Ioannou, The American Club
Xue Hua, Weichai Singapore
Amy Jadesimi, Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base
Sadan Kaptanoglu, Kaptanoglu Shipping
Inna Kuznetsova, INTTRA
Marie Kelly, Norton Rose Fulbright
Marthe Lamp Sandvik, Pareto Business Management
Anna Larsson, Trident Alliance
Gina Lee-Wan, Allen & Gledhill
Birgit Liodden, Oslo Business Region
Louisa Loran, Maersk Line
Carleen Lyden Walker, Morgan Marketing & Communications
Doris Magsaysay Ho, Magsaysay Group
Kathy Metcalf, Chamber of Shipping of America
Radhika Menon, Shipping Corporation of India
Karin Orsel, MF Shipping Group
Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, Tototheo Maritime Group
Natasa Pilides, Cyprus Ministry of TC&W
Birgitte Ringstad Vartdal, Golden Ocean Group
Jean Richards, Quantum Shipping Services
Tanya Saadé Zeenny, CMA CGM
Hege Skryseth, Kongsberg
Kathy Stanzel, Intertanko
Pippa Strasser-Ganderton, ATPI
Sanaz Taransari, Seaport International Shipping
Lisa Teo, Pacific International Lines
Sue Terpilowski, Women’s International Shipping and Trade Association UK
Kirsi Tikka, ABS
Elisabeth Heggelund Tørstad, DNV GL
Christa Volpicelli, Citigroup
Katy Ware, UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency
Jan Webber, The Mission to Seafarers
Jennifer Williams, US Coast Guard
Lois Zabrocky, International Seaways