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Women moving up in the maritime industries

SMM 2014 Halle A1
SMM 2014 Halle A1

Women have played only a minor role in shipping, shipbuilding and related areas up to the present. But the decision makers in the industries are beginning to recognise their potential in view of the current shortage of skilled people. Women are a major focus at the Maritime Career Market held at SMM. A highlight is presentation of the “Personality of the Year 2016” award by the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA).

More women means more profit, as shown in a study by the Peterson Institute in Washington published in February 2016. The more women a company employs in middle and senior management, the better its earnings. The rule of thumb is that an increase in female executives from zero to 30% boosts profitability by 15%. The study is based on responses by nearly 22,000 companies in 91 countries.

The Maritime Career Market at SMM, the world’s leading maritime industries expo, in Hamburg on 9 September 2016, puts the spotlight on career opportunities for women. Shipbuilding companies, equipment suppliers and port companies are feeling the demographic change and desperately seeking skilled workers, executives and young talents – and that is precisely where women come in. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has recognised the importance of this subject and set a clear signal – the recently adopted National Ports Concept explicitly recognises as an ongoing task the need to “increase the percentage of women employed at ports.”

The Maritime Career Market is intended to help women in their vocational development – it is a very good sign that this subject is being addressed at an industry fair which is more aimed at technical matters,” says Dagmar Klenk, President of WISTA Germany. The organisation has been engaged for more than 40 years in women’s international networking in the maritime industries. If it goes well, she adds, the Maritime Career Market could become a fantastic cooperation opportunity for the women and companies concerned.

WISTA Award in a prestigious setting
WISTA has played a part at SMM for many years, holding an evening reception for its international members attending SMM as exhibitors or trade visitors. A special highlight is planned again this year – WISTA Germany will present the “Personality of the Year 2016” award at SMM. “Our aim with this award is to highlight female personalities who have an exemplary function in career and commitment in the maritime industries,” says Dagmar Klenk, President of WISTA Germany, who works in the management of a Hamburg shipping company. “We made a deliberate choice to present this award at the leading global fair SMM to increase awareness of our network in this prestigious setting.” (Please find here the full interview.)

Attractive prospects for female applicants
Promotion of young talents is another key factor in the Maritime Career Market – on 9 September 2016, school and university students have a unique opportunity to get first-hand information about training and career paths in the maritime industries. The event specifically addresses girls with an interest in the industries – “Women can get an impression of the career opportunities in the maritime industries here at the world’s leading maritime industries fair,” says Carin Steinbach, Deputy Project Director for SMM. Carin Steinbach is closely involved with maritime subjects and joined Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH in 2001. She notes that many of the 2,100 SMM exhibitors are attractive employers with good prospects for trainees, qualified staff, skilled workers and management executives. A good example of the business power prospects for women in a largely male domain is Angeliki Frangou, Chairman and CEO of Navios Maritime Holdings. She has made it to 16th position in the prestigious “Top 100 influential people in shipping” published by Lloyd’s List in 2015.

WISTA President Dagmar Klenk can only recommend that women go into the maritime industries – “An exciting and varied field of work, full of fascinating opportunities. The maritime industries have such a variety of activities – in shipping companies on shore or at sea, in the equipment supply industry, and in finance.” And they are highly international.

More women in the maritime industries – that can be a win-win situation for companies and applicants. WISTA and the Maritime Career Market at SMM give a major boost to this development.

About the Maritime Career Market
The Maritime Career Market at SMM on 9 September is the ideal platform for matching jobs with applicants, and for presentation of training and education opportunities in the maritime industries. Companies and institutions can present themselves and their offers at a dedicated jobs market. For more information, please visit www.smm-hamburg.com/mcm

About SMM
SMM is the leading international maritime trade fair, with more than 2,100 exhibitors. Major companies from some 70 countries will present their innovative technologies at the Hamburg Fair site from 6 to 9 September 2016. For more information, please visit www.smm-hamburg.com

WISTA (Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association) has been working for more than 40 years to facilitate national and international networking for women at skilled worker and management level in the maritime industries. It currently has more than 80 active members in Germany, and some 2,300 worldwide in 34 countries. For more information please visit www.wista.net

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