International Day for Women in Maritime

The inaugural IMO International Day for Women in Maritime on 18 May 2022 will focus on the theme “Training-Visibility-Recognition: Supporting a barrier-free working environment” View IMO dedicated page here.

In support to this day, IALA would like to share Monica Sundklev’s words as she has been very important and actively involved in the work of IALA for many years.

-What do you find is the most challenging in your job?

I work mainly with rules and requirements in various fields of maritime traffic and I am active both within IMO, IALA and the European Union, and I have noticed that there are different views on what rules and regulations that should be implemented and how. Maritime transport is a global business and therefore global and harmonized development and implementation is crucial to get a smooth and seamless transport chain.

Being part of developing rules and regulations today as the digitalization and automation is moving very fast, is also very thrilling. I hope that by trying to analyse and understand the complexity of this development without being a hindrance to this progress, I hope that I can contribute with my knowledge and experience so that the marine transport chain is perceived as both safe, modern and environmentally friendly.

The challenge is to get everyone on board, both individuals like seafarers and VTS operators as well as different jurisdictions such as other countries and their authorities, and to move in the same direction for the benefit of all.

-What do you find is the most pleasant in your job?

All the wonderful people that I meet in various meetings and situations! The maritime domain is rather small and it gets very familiar when you meet the same people in different places at different meetings.

Especially within the VTS Committee of IALA, I meet many interesting people from all over the world and it’s amazing what a huge network of contacts you can get within an international organization such as IALA. I have met so many friends within IALA and we still keep in contact. This is also known to be the IALA spirit of the IALA family. Join an IALA workshop or a committee meeting and you will see J

-What could you say the work with IALA brought to you and to your job?

I have learned so much through IALA that I have been able to bring back to my daily work, particularly from the comradery both from the participants from all over the world but also from the IALA secretariat.  This includes, but is not in any way limited to cooperation, collaboration, engagement, enthusiasm, respect and willingness to learn.

Also through IALA I have been involved in producing many recommendations and guidelines for VTS. I have also been able to visit several VTS centres as well as VTS trainings centres around the world. This has given me a better understanding of the different challenges that may exist in different areas and the justification of implementing a VTS, but also that different training methods and course structures may apply depending on the need. All this will definitely be considered when new VTS rules will be developed in Sweden. I would be very happy to be part of such a development.

Monica Sundklev, Senior Adviser at the Swedish Transport Agency, Chair of the IALA VTS Committee.