DRAFT programme - details forthcoming


09.00 - 10.30

Opening Session

Welcome Remarks

  • Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President, World Maritime University

Keynote Addresses  

Moderator: Dr. Jens-Uwe Schröder-Hinrichs, Vice President (Academic Affairs), World Maritime University

  • Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO (video message)
  • Ms. Alette van Leur, Director of the Sectoral Policies Department, International Labour Organization (ILO) 
  • Dr. Genevieve Béchard, Hydrographer General of Canada
  • Ms. Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

10.30 - 10.45

IMO Gender Programme 

Ms. Helen Buni, Principal Programme Assistant, Resource Mobilization and Partnerships, Office of the Director, Technical
Cooperation Division, International Maritime Organization (IMO)

10.45 - 11.30

Plenary Session 1: Women in Maritime Leadership
Perspectives and insights from women occupying senior leadership positions in national governments and international organizations

Moderator: Dr. Maximo Q. Mejia Jr., Professor, World Maritime University

  • Ms. Heike Deggim, Director, Maritime Safety Division, IMO 
  • Ms. Magda Kopczynska, DG MOVE, EU
  • Ms. Katarina Norén, Director General, Swedish Maritime Administration
  • Ms. Maphefo Anno – Frempong, CEO, Transport Education Training Authority, South Africa

11.30 - 12.45


12.45 - 13.40

Panel A: Women in Shipping

Focuses on the role of women in the shipping industry, the achievements so far and the challenges ahead

Moderator: Dr. Laura Carballo Piñeiro, Nippon Foundation Professorial Chair in Maritime Labour Law and Policy

  • Ms. Jacqueline Smith, Maritime Coordinator, International Transport Federation Workers' Union 
  • Ms. Maja Markovcic Kostelac, Executive Director, European Maritime Safety Agency
  • Ms. Nancy Wakarima Karigithu, Principal Secretary, Maritime Commerce, Ministry of Transport, Kenya 
  • Captain Kate McCue, Celebrity Cruises 

13.40 - 14.35

Panel B: Women in Ports

Highlights the role undertaken by women at various seaports heading Operations, Business analysis, and CSR, among others, in developing a sustainable port and society

Moderator: Dr. Satya Sahoo, Assistant Professor, World Maritime University

  • Ms. Neelima Vyas, CEO, SV Pittie Oman 
  • Ms. Mwanaulu Issa Mwajita, Senior Business Analyst (Project Manager, Maritime Single Window), Kenya Trade Network Agency 
  • TBD

14.35 - 15.05

Coffee Break / Poster Presentation

15.05 - 15-50

Plenary Session 2: Women's Role in Influencing Ocean Governance

Highlights the work of professional women leading and influencing interdisciplinary ocean action programmes, with a special emphasis on the long-standing and significant role of women in relation to sustainability-focused ocean governance

Moderator: Professor Ronán Long, Director, WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute of the World Maritime University

  • Ms. Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Director, DOALOS (video message)
  • Dr. Anne Christine Brusendorff, General Secretary, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea 
  • Ms. Julie Gascon, Director General of Operation, Canadian Coast Guard

15.50 - 16.45

Panel C: Women in Ocean and Marine Science

Women from varying career levels that are proactively engaged in ocean and marine science activities  discuss the role of equity, gender-balance, and inclusion for greening the blue economy

Moderator: Ms. Helen Ågren, Swedish Ambassador for the Ocean, Government of Sweden 

16.45 - 16.55

Launch of Gender-Ocean Project

16.55 - 17.05

Close of Day One

17.05 - 18.00

WMU Alumni Panel

18.00 - 19.30

Evening Reception


9.00 - 10.00

Plenary Session 3: Enabling SDG 5 Towards Sustainable Maritime Industries

Showcases the contribution of women in achieving sustainable maritime industries

Moderator:  Ms. Lena Dyring, Director of Cruise Operations, Norwegian Seafarers’ Union 

  • Ms. Sindisiwe Chikunga, Deputy Minister of Transport, South African Government 
  • Mrs. Birgit Sølling Olsen, Former Deputy Director-General, Danish Maritime Authority  
  • Ms. Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, President, WISTA International 

10.00 - 11.00

Panel D: Women in Fishing and Seafood Harvesting

Highlights the contribution of women in dealing with fishing and seafood harvesting sector

Moderator: Capt. Raphael Baumler, Associate Professor, World Maritime University

  • Ms. Luz Baz, ITF inspector in Vigo Spain 
  • Ms. Medina Thiam, Deputy Director, Maritime Safety and Marine Pollution Prevention, Senegal; co-founder of LE FEMMES (network for women in Fisheries Crimes and Law Enforcement)
  • Mrs. Emma C. Glassco, Head of Fishing Administration, Liberia 
  • Ms. Aaju Peter, Lawyer, Translator & Inuit Cultural Advocate, Canada, Greenlandic Iqaluit, Nunavut 

11.00 - 11.30

Coffee Break / Poster Session

11.30 - 12.40

Research Presentations - 4 Parallel Sessions

Session 1 - Increasing the visibility of women of the sea

Session Chair: Dr. Irini Papanicolopulu, Associate Professor of International Law, Università di Milano-Bicocca 

  • Alexandra Aguilar del Valle, Founder Green Nautical Miles, Global Transportation Strategy 
    • Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan, Empowering Women to Protect Our Legacy
  • Natalia Briceno, WSI Consultant, The International Association for Women in the Seafood Industry 
    • The seafood industry is not attractive to women: Is it really? Putting gender on the agenda of the seafood industry, results from a global survey
  • Madeleine Gustavsson, Research Fellow, University of Exeter 
    • Gender (in)equalities on the coast? Exploring women’s changing roles, identities and wellbeing in small-scale fishing families of the UK
  • Emma Rodríguez Rodríguez 
    • The labor and social conditions of women workers of the sea

Session 2 - Maritime safety and security from gender perspectives

Session Chair: Dr. Laura Carballo Piñeiro, Professor, World Maritime University 

  • Patricia Tutalo, Commander, Gender Policy Advisor, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, US Coast Guard (USCG); Erin Williams, Commander, Marine Safety Unit Duluth, USCG & Chair, CG Women's Leadership Initiative 
    • Recipe for Success: Key Ingredients to Create an Inclusive Environment for Women
  • Isabel Lirola-Delgado, Associate Professor for International Public Law, University of Santiago de Compostela (confirmed)
    • Maritime Security Strategies and Gender Perspective: Implications for the Development of United Nations SDG 5
  • Sayedeh Hajar Hejazi, Researcher, Human Rights at Sea (tbc)
    • Seafarer Abandonment: A Human Rights at Sea Perspective
  • María Fernanda Pizzini Bontempo, South Atlantic Maritime Lawyer, Aerospace & Maritime Centre of Mar del Plata (CAM) 
    • Integrated Feminine Elements: The Sea, The Woman and Her Learning of the Marine Environment for the Development of Humanity

Session 3 - Empowering women in maritime business

Session Chair: Dr. Momoko Kitada, Associate Professor, World Maritime University 

  • Laura Burns, Technical Communications; Lucy King, Marketing Manager; Kattie Lam, Product Manager; Valeria Surk, Product Specialist; Veson Nautical 
    • The Impact of Digital Transformation on Gender Equality in Commercial Maritime
  • Dr. Pınar Ozdemir , Piri Reis University
    • A Journey to Maritime Women Leadership: Project Mentoress
  • Aspasia Pastra, Research Associate, WMU 
    • Women in the Board of Directors: The Case of Greek Listed Companies
  • Meenaksi Bhirugnath-Bhookhun, Former Chairperson of the Association of Women Managers in the Maritime Sector in East and Southern Africa (WOMESA) 
    • Beyond Business-As-Usual: The role of women professionals in maritime clusters

Session 4 - Closing the gender gap in the maritime community

  • Tae-eun Kim, Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Maritime Operations, University of South-Eastern Norway (tbc)
    • Investigating the influence of autonomy on gender gap in seafarer employment, education and training
  • Sarita Mahabir-Lee, Senior Instructor; Vivian Rambarath-Parasram, Assistant Professor, The University of Trinidad and Tobago 
    • Forging ahead: leveraging inclusive and equitable education to bridge the gender gap
  • Tom Storey, 2nd Officer, UK
    • Bringing Gender Balance to an Even Keel
  • Maria Emilynda Jeddahlyn Pia V. Benosa, Lawyer, Senior Researcher, Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, University of the Philippines (tbc)
    • She-based: Developments in Promoting Occupational Gender Balance for Filipino Women Seafarers

12.40 - 14.10


14.10 - 15.40

Panel E: Partnerships & Networking for Gender Equality

The final panel brings together all four themes (shipping, port, ocean & marine science, fishing & seafood harvesting) to focus on good practices in partnerships and networking for achieving gender equality

Moderator: Ms. Deniece M. Aiken, Vice President, Legal & International Affairs / Executive Director, Maritime Training Centre, Caribbean Maritime University 

  • Ms. Sanjam Sahi Gupta,  Director, Sitara Shipping Ltd. 
  • Capt. Patrik Dahlgren, Senior Vice President, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. 
  • Dr. Kaoru Kubokawa, Professor, University of Tokyo; Founder, Women for One Ocean 
  • Ms. Ore O. Toua, Maritime Training Adviser, SPC; GHG Officer, MTCC Pacific 
  • Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee, Too Big to Ignore network, Memorial University 
  • Ms. Siti Noraishah Binti Azizan, General Manager, Sabah Ports Sdn. Bhd.
  • Ms. Ally Cedeno, Founder, Women Offshore 

15.40 - 16.10

Coffee Break

16.10 - 17.00

Conclusions and Closing Remarks

  • Moderator: Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright, CEO, Ocean Frontier Institute

  • Closing Remarks

  • Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President, WMU