E-Bulletin June 2024

IMO International Women in Maritime Day 2024

Safe Horizons – Women Shaping the Future of Maritime Safety

The IMO celebrated the International Women in Maritime Day 2024 with the compelling theme Safe Horizons: Women Shaping the Future of Maritime Safety.

This day, observed annually on 18 May, is dedicated to recognizing and promoting the significant contributions of women in the maritime industry, an essential sector traditionally dominated by men.

The 2024 theme emphasized the crucial role women play in enhancing maritime safety and shaping a more secure future for global maritime operations.

Women in maritime are increasingly becoming key players in ensuring this safety, bringing diverse perspectives and innovative solutions to the table.

Historically, women have been underrepresented in maritime professions, particularly in roles related to safety and security. However, recent years have seen a positive shift, with more women breaking through the glass ceiling and taking on leadership positions. Their involvement is critical in areas such as ship design, engineering, navigation, and regulatory compliance, all of which are fundamental to maritime safety.

The International Women in Maritime Day 2024 also celebrated the achievements of women who have made significant strides in improving maritime safety. From captains and engineers to maritime lawyers and safety inspectors, women are making their mark. Their contributions are not only enhancing operational safety but also promoting a culture of safety that permeates the industry.

However, challenges remain. The maritime industry must continue to address issues such as gender bias, lack of access to training and career development opportunities, and workplace harassment. The IMO and other maritime organizations are actively working to create more inclusive environments through policies and initiatives aimed at supporting women’s participation and advancement in the sector.

Organizations such as Women in Maritime (WIM) and the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) play vital roles in providing these networks, offering training programmes, and advocating for policy changes that benefit women in the industry.

Under the theme Safe Horizons: Women Shaping the Future of Maritime Safety, the International Women in Maritime Day served as a powerful reminder of the invaluable contributions of women in the industry. It was an opportunity to honour their achievements, address ongoing challenges, and commit to a future where gender equality and maritime safety go hand in hand. As the IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez stated: ’We must – and will – do more [to support gender equality]. By investing in women’s education and professional development, we empower women, drive innovation and foster sustainability within the maritime industry, to the benefit of all’.

IALA is also committed to gender equality and endeavours, as much as possible, to support women working with Marine Aids to Navigation, vessel traffic services and related activities. Although the technical committees and the council are still largely male dominated, the Secretariat is embracing diversity and aims to include more women at responsibility level.

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