News Letter

Driving diversity in maritime through data

May 18, 2022, London. 

IMO-WISTA Women in Maritime survey highlights current gender diversity across the sector and sets a benchmark for progress  

Gender diversity in maritime is extremely fragmented by sector, according to data from the newly-published 2021 IMO-WISTA (Women's International Shipping & Trading Association) Women in Maritime Survey Report. 

The report, launched on the first IMO International Day for Women in Maritime, contains information about the proportion and distribution of women working in the maritime sector from IMO Member States and the maritime industry. The data demonstrates that women account for only 29% of the overall workforce in the general industry and 20% of the workforce of national maritime authorities in Member States.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, “Benchmarking the current state of the sector is vital to measure where we are, and where we need to go. The Women in Maritime Survey 2021 shines a spotlight on areas in which IMO Member States and the wider maritime industry are performing well – and, more importantly, those where additional attention, resources and encouragement are needed. By actively empowering women with the requisite skills, maintaining a barrier free working environment, we create truly sustainable systems of gender equality.”

The survey contributes to initiatives to support the Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality.

Women in the workforce 

The report highlights great variation amongst individual sub-sectors. According to data gathered from Member States, search and rescue teams in national maritime authorities account for significantly fewer women staff (just 10%) as compared to female diplomats (33%) and training staff (30%). Industry data shows that women seafarers make up just 2% of the crewing workforce and are predominately found in the cruise sector, while in shipowning companies they made up 34% of the workforce.

WISTA International President Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou said, “The knowledge we have gathered about gender diversity in the maritime industry through this first Women in Maritime Survey 2021 is an important step in our ambition to create holistic gender diversity. As a first snapshot, this survey gives telling evidence of how much work still needs to be done. But it also shows us where there are a few bright spots. The maritime industry can see for itself which sectors are pushing ahead with diversity, and which are not.”

Ongoing diversity efforts

The survey was conducted in 2021 through online assessments sent to IMO Member States and companies. The survey is one of the activities under the 2020 IMO-WISTA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on promoting greater diversity and inclusion through enhanced cooperation activities in the maritime sector. The MoU aims to set a framework for both IMO and WISTA to promote gender diversity and inclusion as vital factors in providing a sustainable future for the shipping industry worldwide. 


IMO and WISTA intend to produce future Women in Maritime survey reports to measure progress and serve as guidance for the appropriate allocation of resources and capacity building by various stakeholders. Other initiatives under the IMO-WISTA MoU include developing a database of female experts in a wide range of maritime subjects who are available for speaking engagements. This will contribute towards more diverse panels at maritime conferences and conferences beyond the sector.


The 2021 IMO-WISTA Women in Maritime Survey Report can be downloaded from HERE.

International Day for Women in Maritime 18 May – read more here: International Day for Women in Maritime 2022 (

Media contacts: 

IMO - the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. IMO's work supports the UN SDGs.​

Contact:  Natasha Brown 

WISTA - The Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA International) is a global organisation connecting female executives and decision-makers around the world. WISTA International has a membership of 55 WISTA National Associations and close to 4000 individual members from all sectors of the maritime industry.


Contact: For media enquiries, either contact Sue Terpilowski +44 207 689 9009 or visit the media centre | WISTA International.

NAMEPA’s Safety at Sea Event Addresses Maritime Risks in Turbulent Times USCG’s AMVER and Benkert Awards to Industry Key Additional Element

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WASHINGTON, DC, May 2, 2022- NAMEPA (North American Marine Environment Protection Association) announced additional sponsors supporting the upcoming annual Safety at Sea Seminar, which will be held as an in-person event at The National Press Club in Washington DC, on Thursday, May 19th beginning at 1:30EDT.  This annual event will be augmented by the presentation of the United States Coast Guard’s AMVER and Benkert Awards to shipowners.

NAMEPA thanks newly supporting sponsors Alaska Chauxdo Network, Cruise Lines Intl. Assoc. (CLIA), Future Care, International Seaways, and Marinakis Chartering. Safety in the maritime industry has never been more important, with continuously growing public awareness of the industry’s impact on the environment and global trade, in addition to the critical role of shipping in geopolitics. Join industry colleagues to participate in the discussion of “Safety at Sea” in these turbulent times. NAMEPA’s Safety at Sea event will explore the role of shipping during periods of global disturbance with an eye on impacts to mariners, ships and global trade while examining emerging and future threats to “normal” maritime operations. In one of his first appearances following his appointment, the keynote presentation will be made by RDML Wayne Arguin, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy on the USCG’s safety concerns.

The afternoon event will be followed by the presentation of the USCG’s prestigious Benkert Awards for environmental excellence and AMVER’s Awards recognizing industry participation for voluntary rescue at sea. Senior leadership from the USCG will be making the presentation, with nearly 550 vessels being recognized.

For more information, or to register, please go to  NAMEPA Safety at Sea Seminar .

Previously announced sponsors of the event include ABS, The American Club, Blank Rome, Dorian, Fairfield Chemical Carriers, HudsonAnalytix, and Scorpio.

The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) is a marine industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. Visit us at:

IMO Prioritizes STCW training provisions addressing bullying and harassment in the maritime sector

Model Course development and IMO/ILO tripartite working group formed to progress solutions

At a recent meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), the interests of the people - the seafarers - were recognized with the highest of priority to create a safer work culture on board ships for all mariners in support of human element aspects of diversity, equality, equity and inclusion.

In late April, the 105th session of the Maritime Safety Committee supported and approved a proposal to revise and amend Model Course 1.21 on Personal Safety and Social Responsibility to include elements of psychological safety and to deal with trauma and trauma response. The Committee instructed the HTW (Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping) Sub-Committee to develop and finalize, as a matter of priority, STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) training provisions addressing bullying and harassment in the maritime sector, including sexual assault and sexual harassment. This work is going to be part of the "Comprehensive review of the 1978 STCW Convention and Code".


It is rare that an IMO Model Course is taken forward with priority and is developed and amended in such a short timeframe. The urgency in development and finalization of STCW training provisions on bullying and harassment in the maritime sector rises from emerging and ongoing issues related to personal safety onboard vessels. Repeated issues of sexual assault and sexual harassment occur in the maritime sector, across all cultures, demographics, socio-economic groups and ages, in the same way as they do in wider society. These illegal behaviors and trends affect seafarers' short- and long-term mental health, safety and well-being which in turn affects recruitment and attrition rates of seafarers.

In addition to instructing the development and finalization of an IMO Model Course on Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, the MSC designated a joint IMO/ILO tripartite working group on the issues. The objective of this joint group is to ensure a safe workplace for seafarers by tackling bullying and harassment in the maritime sector. This group will also work on providing recommendations for future steps, including the development of legislation, mechanisms and policies, and the launching of awareness campaigns by relevant stakeholders aimed at reporting and addressing these matters.

The positive response of IMO member states and Organizations on this topic demonstrates the recognition of a pervasive problem on many ships and a continued commitment to a vibrant, safe and supportive maritime industry.


The work emerged from a paper by the Commonwealth of Dominica submitted to the Sub Committee on Human Element Training and Watchkeeping in January 2022. A second paper, submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee in April 2022, was submitted by the Commonwealth of Dominica, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, ICHCA, IFSMA, InterManager, AMPP and IIMA. These documents raised awareness for the issue and proposed to amend and revise the IMO Model Course on Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR).


Revisions of the IMO Model Course on PSSR include expanding existing training on safe working practices, as well as including elements of psychological safety in effective communications and healthy human relationships on board ships to include and dealing with trauma and trauma response. The co-sponsors proposed to create a framework that establishes behavioral norms and supports a psychologically safe and just culture in the maritime sector to provide a safer working environment for all.

Since raising the issue at IMO in January 2022, a broader group of stakeholders started to collaborate to further refine the work in a COPE° (Center for Ocean Policy and Economics -a subset of The Northeast Maritime Institute) Working Group. This “COPE° Working Group on Psychological Safety and Sexual Assault and harassment in the Maritime Sector”, uses the UN framework to work on solutions to connect the industry objectives set out. Members of this COPE° working group include representatives from delegations of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahamas, and Brazil, along with large maritime industry company representatives, and several maritime NGO’s including WISTA (Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association), IHMA (International Harbor Masters Association), ISWAN (International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network) as well as subject matter experts on psychology, education and maritime safety who are sharing information, ideas, learnings and pooling resources.


The COPE° working group is driven by ethical and humanitarian-based values. Next to the work on the IMO Model Course, the group will work to evaluate and provide training options, designing free courses on Northeast Maritime Online (NEMO°) and investigating other training options. Harmonizing best practices, guidance documents, industry resources and studies are also part of the scope. Lastly, the group is focusing on raising awareness and is open to hear the voices of all people working in the maritime industry.

The work and plenary interventions of the COPE° working group at IMO inspired and incited other IMO member states and organizations to act. This resulted in the submission of several other papers for MSC105 on the same subject matter. The proposals in these papers resulted the designation of a joint IMO/ILO tripartite working group.

The positive outcome of the Maritime Safety Committee, and the historical decision to take this work forward with priority, demonstrates that there is support for honoring mariners globally. It shows that there is a way to facilitate procedures and the work of the IMO work to support the people it serves in a timely fashion.



The COPE° working group has already begun meeting to revise the Model and is expected to yield a work product for the next meeting of the HTW Sub-Committee, in view for adoption by MSC107 in May 2023. The meeting dates for the IMO/ILO tripartite are still to be identified.


For more information on the COPE° Working Group, or to contribute towards its work, contact Eva Lianne Veldkamp at

ABOUT COPE Working Group

The COPE° Working group on Psychological Safety and Sexual Assault and Harassment in the Maritime Sector is hosted by Center for Ocean Policy and Economics, a subset of The Northeast Maritime Institute – College of Maritime Science.

The group is working on:

  • developing and delivering relevant actions and impactful solutions
  • drivers for change, in order to tackle the wicked problems present in our world today
  • solutions to build on an international UN framework to connect the industry to objectives.

Taking into account:

  • building on a psychologically safe workplace culture in the maritime sector
  • the successful integration of vulnerable and marginalized groups, in support of diversity, equality, equity, inclusion and acceptance
  • the issues relating to sexual assault, harassment and bullying in the maritime sector
  • transparency and integrity
  • supporting and honoring mariners globally

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TRADING IN U.S. WATERS | Towards a Decarbonized Maritime Sector by 2050” Seminar Being Hosted at POSIDONIA 2022 in American-Hellenic Collaboration

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May 26, 2022 The American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), in full cooperation with the Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy in Athens and the Int’l Propeller Club of the United States, Int’l Port of Piraeus and the Maritime Hellas Shipping Cluster-Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, are organizing, under the auspices of the Embassy of the United States in Athens, Greece, a seminar entitled: “Trading in U.S. Waters | Towards a Decarbonized Maritime Sector by 2050”.  The event will take place on Thursday, June 9, 2022 at 10.00-14.00, with a networking session and light lunch to follow from 14.00-15.00, at Metropolitan Expo Center in the Central Seminar Room.

The seminar will examine how, through partnership at multiple levels, the maritime sector will reach the goal of decarbonization by 2050. Distinguished speakers, from the United States and the Global Shipping Community, including the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the International Propeller Club- Port of Piraeus, the North America Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) and also by high level representatives of the international shipping and ship owners’ communities, will discuss the global overview for maritime policies, digital tools that are driving efficiency and compliance, the cybersecurity needed to successfully digitalizethe fuels and tools required to drive decarbonization, and will conclude with a shipowners debate “Will Shipping Achieve ZERO by 2050?”

Yuri Arthur, Senior Commercial Officer, at the Embassy of the United States in Athens, stated, “I’d like to thank NAMEPA, the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, and The Propeller Club of the United States for their partnership in presenting this year’s seminar on trading in U.S. waters.  We are also pleased that Lieutenant Commander J.B. Zorn, Chief, Inspections, U.S. Coast Guard Activities in Europe, is able to join us this year to provide attendees with the latest information on U.S. regulatory enforcement.” Ms. Arthur also invited Expo attendees to visit the U.S. Pavilion and the 19 American companies exhibiting at Posidonia. According to Ms. Arthur, this is the 18th time the U.S. Embassy has organized a U.S. Pavilion at Posidonia. She noted, “United States participation in Posidonia demonstrates our companies’ strong interest in the Greek shipping sector, an interest that will continue to increase as Greece continues to take the difficult, but necessary, measures to improve its business and investment climate.”

The President of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Nikolaos Bakatselos said: "Greek shipping continues to capture new records, from the first place of the world fleet to Posidonia 2022 participations. U.S. companies’ presentation will contribute to the promotion and enforcement of multiple alliances and policies that will further enhance the competitiveness of Greek Shipping amid international economic challenges and ever-increasing requirements for environmental compliance. Our responsibility and concern should be the maintenance of the fleet stay in Greece, so that shipping sector will continue its contribution to our country and country’s economy. "

“This year marks the third time that NAMEPA has produced a seminar on the occasion of Posidonia regarding the rigors and challenges of trading ships to the United States,” stated Carleen Lyden-Walker who is Co-Founder and Executive Director of NAMEPA.  “We are honored to be partnering this year with the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and working under the auspices of the United States Embassy as we all share a keen interest in communicating the complexities affecting shipping community who trade in and out of U.S. ports.  There are many facets to decarbonizing the maritime sector, as well as the regulations which are rigorously enforced, and they need to be well understood by all, and can only be achieved in partnership. This seminar will address many of them and will serve to address the concerns of responsible shipowners”.  One of the seminar’s opening speakers is Joe Hughes, the Chairman of NAMEPA, who is also the Chairman and CEO of The American Club.

Registration is required and may be done by going to  Trading in US Waters Registration.

Trading in US Waters Sponsors and Supporters: American Bureau of Shipping | Blank Rome Maritime | BCG | Contships Management Inv. | Ernst & Young | HUDSONANALYTIX | IBM | International Propeller Club | Northeast Maritime Institute | Patriot Shipping | Morgan Marketing & Communications | Ridge Global | The American Club | United States Coast Guard

Media contact: Rebecca Tribelli |