ΙΜΟ gives its 1st Gender Equality in Shipping Award to Cyprus’ nominee

The first ever International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Gender Equality Award has been presented to the nominee of Cyprus, Despina Panayiotou-Theodosiou.

During a symposium on Maritime Safety at the IMO headquarters in London on the afternoon of 17 May, to mark this year’s International Day for Women in Maritime, the award was handed by the IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez to Despina Panayiotou-Theodosiou, CEO of the Tototheo Maritime Group and former President of the Women's International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA International). 

The winner was chosen by the IMO Council among a number of member-state nominees.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency during the award ceremony, Panayiotou-Theodosiou said that she considers the prize an honour for herself but also for Cyprus.

Referring to the work that has been done in Cyprus for over a decade to strengthen women’s voice in shipping, she added that the award is a recognition of the collective effort in this regard, thanking Deputy Minister for Shipping Marina Hadjimanolis for nominating her, with the support of the President of the Republic Nicos Christodoulides.

Theodosiou_Arsenio

Deputy Minister Hadjimanolis said she was delighted and moved to see a Cypriot woman who is “a dynamic presence with multi-dimensional contribution” in global shipping winning such an award.

She also noted that gender equality in shipping and the encouragement of women to work in the sector has been one of her and the government’s top priorities.

“We firmly believe that women have got the talent, the skills and the commitment required to contribute towards the development and strengthening of the shipping sector,” Cypriot Deputy Minister for Shipping said.

Currently, only 29% of the overall maritime workforce and 20% of the workforce of national maritime authorities are women. Women make up less than 2% of seafarers worldwide.  

In his introductory remarks Arsenio Dominguez of Panama said: “We must – and will – do more. 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. The rise of digitalization and automation as well as green technology in the sector will require new skills and potentially signal new career opportunities for women. Change is both necessary and coming.”

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency he also congratulated the winner and thanked the Deputy Minister for nominating Despina Panayiotou-Theodosiou, describing both of them as “examples of successful women in shipping to follow.”

(Source: CNA)

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