By Marek Grzybowski
The meeting of women working in the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA Poland) took place on January 19 this year. The guest of honor was Ms. Elpi Petraki, president of WISTA International. The host of the meeting was Mrs. Wanda Dobrowolska, President of WISTA Poland. The meeting was also attended by representatives of WISTA Norway.
Women in the maritime business
Managers and businesswomen from WISTA Poland have a strong position in the Polish maritime business. This has long been noticed by members of the Baltic Sea and Space Cluster, which supports women in the promotion of women in various fields of activity. Operational and business activities in Polish ports, shipping companies, construction offices and ports, shipping and fishing, maritime tourism and administration, economy, finance, insurance and law would not be possible without women in the maritime business.
Women have always been present in global maritime logistics. The ladies founded their organization under the name Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA International) in 1974.
– We are a global network of women’s organizations working in the maritime economy and connect women in managerial positions and decision-makers around the world – said Elpi Petraki, President of WISTA International and emphasized that the role of women in the maritime economy is growing, and more national organizations are joining WISTA International.
An important initiative is the study of the culture of integration in maritime transport. It is a joint effort of WISTA International, Anglo-Eastern, International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and ICS (International Chamber of Shipping). The second “The Diversity Handbook” was developed on the basis of an online survey. More than 1,100 women working on ships took part in the study.
3,800 businesswomen in 56 countries
The WISTA International network includes over 3,800 women active in all sectors of the maritime industries. The organization is growing rapidly. More and more women dealing with transport and maritime business from South America, Africa and Asia join national organizations from Europe and North America.
– There are national WISTA organizations in 56 countries that cooperate in WISTA International. Ladies operating within national organizations not only build regional networks, but also create new business opportunities and develop partnerships between the maritime economy sectors – said Elpi Petraki, President of WISTA International
“Globally, WISTA members have access to an extremely diverse network of shipping and trading executives that they can call for support, contacts, advice or business collaboration,” said President Elpi Petraki.
10 years of WISTA Poland
A businesswoman from the port, shipping and shipbuilding business, from forwarding companies and broadly understood finance and law, certification institutions as well as legal and economic sciences work in WISTA Poland.
– WISTA Poland started its activity in Poland in the early 90s of the previous century. The pioneer was Wanda Dobrowolska, who, acting in the Tankers Department of PŻM, was delegated by Krzysztof Kremky, director of the Tankers Department, to the first meetings of women working in shipping and sea forwarding.
– In 2013, we registered our activity in the form of an association – says the president, Wanda Dobrowolska, noting that “WISTA Poland aims to support women working in the maritime economy, enabling them to establish personal and professional contacts, presenting their achievements, improving qualifications and competences”.
– Women’s meetings are an opportunity to familiarize yourself with the specifics of various areas of the maritime industry and exchange experiences, as well as learn about the operating conditions of companies in the wider context of the functioning of the economy or spatial planning – informs Dobrowolska, president of WISTA Poland.
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