Empowering women in the maritime industry | Sunday Observer

Empowering women in the maritime industry

Women International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) which is a platform for women to empower them in the maritime industry, is working towards attracting young blood to make it a vibrant sector in the economy.

“The maritime industry has a considerable imbalance at present and WISTA has made positive contribution for women to develop as seafarers. Although this is a male dominated industry, women have proved that they are capable of handling men’s work in most aspects of the jobs,” WISTA Sri Lanka President, Swabha Wickramasinghe said.

The vast development of Science and Technology has given new vistas for women to showcase their careers and become seafarers given the opportunity to work with their male counterparts, she said.

Only 24 percent of the women worldwide hold senior positions in the commercial world.

“We want more women to take up positions in this dynamic industry. WISTA is taking every opportunity to create awareness and encourages more women to join the industry. This is a lucrative field and we expect that more women will join the maritime sector in the future where there are enough and more job opportunities,” she said.

Shipping is a very important industry for the Sri Lankan economy and WISTA is keen in attracting more qualified and capable women to the industry. We are focused to promote more sea based jobs, she said.

WISTA Sri Lanka facilitated the training and recruitment of 10 gantry operators to the Mahapola Ports and Maritime Academy. This is the first such batch of women crane operators in the South Asian region. These trained members have been absorbed in to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority workforce.

“We are happy to announce that there were two women cadets in the Macmarine Institute training program this year and one of them topped the batch,” she said. This shows that women are capable of doing any job, she added.

WISTA International was set up in 1974 in the UK with a handful of women brokers involved in the tanker market who met at a Christmas lunch in London. WISTA Sri Lanka was officially launched in 2014 and has over 90 members at present.

They have access to a diverse network for advice and also have the network collaboration facility. WISTA Sri Lanka has won many awards and has been recognized by the governing body in the UK. The areas of focus include education, networking and CSR initiatives. 

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