JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Women from at least 24 countries will meet in Montego Bay, St. James, from April 13 to 17 to discuss their involvement in maritime affairs, during a conference at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort.
  • The inaugural staging of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Women in Maritime Affairs (WiMA) Conference is aimed at supporting the efforts of the region to deepen the integration of women in the maritime sector.
  • In an interview with JIS News, Deputy Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Claudette Grant, said the maritime industry is historically a male dominated one, so it is very difficult for women to break into it, especially in the category of seafaring.

Women from at least 24 countries will meet in Montego Bay, St. James, from April 13 to 17 to discuss their involvement in maritime affairs, during a conference at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort.

The inaugural staging of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Women in Maritime Affairs (WiMA) Conference is aimed at supporting the efforts of the region to deepen the integration of women in the maritime sector through the establishment of a Women in Maritime Association for the Caribbean.

In an interview with JIS News, Deputy Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Claudette Grant, said the maritime industry is historically a male dominated one, so it is very difficult for women to break into it, especially in the category of seafaring.

The conference is expected to include talks on establishing a regional cooperation network for maritime professional women; enhancing regional recognition of the role of women in the port and maritime sector in the Caribbean; increasing employment opportunities for women in national maritime administrations; and strengthening the cooperation network among women in the maritime sector.

Ms. Grant explained that Jamaica was asked to host the conference after participation in the 2nd International Conference on Maritime Women Global Leadership in March 2014 in Sweden, where they presented a regional perspective of the Caribbean  and prepared a paper for presentation entitled: ‘Women in the Maritime Sector:  Surviving and Thriving in a Man’s World – a Caribbean Perspective’.  

During the presentation, findings from a survey conducted in the region among maritime professional women were presented.

“The survey had several findings, one of which was that over 80 per cent of them saw the need for a united body that would serve as a uniting force for the professional women in the region, so that they could advocate and promote change and development,” Ms. Grant said.

She informed that subsequent to that conference, the MAJ had written to the IMO requesting consideration for it to provide similar support to that given in other regions, to which they agreed. The IMO then asked Jamaica to host the inaugural staging of the WiMA Conference.

Among those scheduled to present are noteworthy Jamaican maritime professional women, including Ms. Grant; Deputy Executive Director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute, Vivette Grant; and Head of the Jamaica Coast Guard, Lt. Commander Antoinette Wemyss Gorman.