Damen strengthens female presence in the maritime industry

Damen’s Head of Communications, Sylvia Boer, has recently been appointed President of the Netherlands chapter of WISTA – the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association. WISTA the Netherlands was founded in 2000 and currently has 140 members from across the maritime industry.

Sylvia, who has been a WISTA member since 2008 and joined the organisation’s board in 2013, said, “I am honoured to take up this position as President of WISTA in the Netherlands. Within the role I will strive to connect women in the maritime industry, helping them to expand their networks and skills, encouraging them to inspire each other in their careers by sharing thoughts and advice – to make a difference with a feminine touch in a man’s world!”

WISTA the Netherlands focuses on a number of priority topics affecting the industry. Amongst these are sustainability, new technologies, big data, health & safety, cyber security, block chain, developing cultural sensitivity and last, but by no means least, clean oceans.

WISTA has 3,000 members in 40 countries from diverse maritime-related organisations including ship operators, shipyards, equipment suppliers, brokers, banks, insurance specialists, legal experts and training and research institutes. Its chapters around the world aim to support women in the industry via such means as regular meetings, workshops, presentation speeches and company visits.

Last month, one such visit took place in Sharjah, when WISTA UAE visited Albwardy Damen. Present at the event was HRH Princess Sarah Al Saud, Director of Maritime Business Development and the International Forum for Maritime Transport at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport.

Speaking at the event, Albwardy Damen MD Lars Seistrup said, “We believe that women’s participation is important to this industry. The maritime community should believe in the talent of women and in their ability to accomplish tough jobs within our sector. This can be achieved by equipping them with the right education, training and skills.”