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National WISTA Association Creating Opportunities for Women in Maritime Industry

By: , March 31, 2024
National WISTA Association Creating Opportunities for Women in Maritime Industry
Photo: Contributed
Director of Capacity Building and Special Programmes at WISTA Jamaica, Kishan Gordon-Chambers.

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The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Jamaica has made significant strides in fostering inclusivity for women, through the launch of the National WISTA Association, which is geared at creating greater opportunities for women in the maritime sector.

WISTA International, which is a global network of over 4,300 female executives and decision-makers in the maritime industry, offers programmes on professional development for women in the maritime industry.

Director of Capacity Building and Special Programmes at WISTA Jamaica, Kishan Gordon-Chambers, says becoming a National WISTA Association is “a big deal”.

“Through WISTA International’s consultative status with the International Maritime Organization, Jamaican women have the opportunity to contribute to decision making processes at the international level and this ensures that their perspectives are considered when shaping policies and initiatives within the maritime sector,” Mrs. Gordon-Chambers states.

Jamaican women will have access to a global network that will facilitate career advancement through knowledge sharing.

“Membership in WISTA provides us as Jamaican women with access to a global network of professionals in maritime and trade related fields. WISTA has 3800 plus members, 56 national WISTA Associations which grow annually. This facilitates collaboration, knowledge sharing, exchange of best practices, ultimately fostering career advancement,” she states.

Affiliation with WISTA International will enhance the visibility and recognition of Jamaican women in the sector, which Mrs. Gordon-Chambers says, will break stereotypes and encourage more women to pursue maritime-related fields and contribute to a greater diversity and inclusion in the industry.

Mrs. Gordon-Chambers informs JIS News that WISTA Jamaica plans to organize workshops, seminars, and speaker series sessions, aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of women in the maritime sector, while expanding to other professional spaces.

“These programmes will cover a range of topics such as maritime law, logistics, financial literacy, leadership development, personal branding, as well as we’ll have sessions related to technical skills specific to the industry,” she adds.

Senior Director for the Bureau of Gender Affairs in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Sharon Coburn-Robinson, who was the guest speaker at the launch held on International Women’s Day, March 8, pointed to the Government’s work in creating an enabling environment for inclusion of women in various arenas, through legislation, specifically the National Policy for Gender Equality (NPGE).

“WISTA has and continues to do an excellent job at highlighting successful women in the industry at all levels. Through continued initiatives of this kind, we can inspire the next generation of female industry professionals,” Mrs. Coburn-Robinson says.

“Including women means we are better able to address issues that affect our women and girls like poverty, inequality, and discrimination,” she continues.

WISTA aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 5), which relates to Women’s equality and Empowerment.

This is in line with Jamaica’s Vision 2030 National Outcome #1, which emphasizes a healthy and stable population.

A key aspect of achieving this involves empowering women, equipping them with the necessary skills to foster their ability to navigate complex challenges, drive innovation, and inspire positive change.

President of WISTA Jamaica, Dr. Deniece Aiken says, “we are thrilled to officially launch the National WISTA Association for Jamaica and join the global network of women in shipping and trading.”

“This milestone not only marks a significant step forward for women in the maritime sector, but also underscores our commitment to fostering inclusivity, diversity, and professional growth within our industry. We look forward to creating meaningful opportunities and making a lasting impact for women in Jamaica’s maritime community,” she states.

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