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We were delighted to attend the recent launch of the new Southampton branch of WISTA (Women's International Shipping and Trading Association) UK.
The launch event took place at Lloyd's Register's new building in Southampton and was chaired by Ewen Macdonald, director of Seavision. The president of WISTA UK, Sue Terpilowski OBE, officiated the event, which saw individuals from a variety of maritime backgrounds gather to celebrate an exciting new chapter for WISTA UK.
The South East represents more than 20% of the UK maritime industry, and in recognition of this significant contribution the new Southampton chapter will help to broaden the scope of WISTA UK, providing interested women and men from the maritime cluster in the surrounding area easy access to the WISTA network. Members will also benefit from the teaching, support and inspiration of WISTA membership locally, regionally and internationally.
Founded in 1972, WISTA UK is the longest running WISTA globally and aims to establish a wide range of regional pockets in order to expand and interconnect an already growing network. WISTA provides a global support network for women throughout the shipping and maritime industries to meet, and share and discuss work-related issues. The association is devoted to providing networking, training and mentoring among its members, as well as educational events, seminars, conferences and informal social meetings.
The Southampton branch launch event was opened by Tom Boardley, Marine Director of Lloyd's Register, and was followed by a talk from Dr Kate Pike, Senior Research Fellow at Southampton Solent University, who will be leading the new WISTA UK branch.
Guest speaker, Katy Ware, Permanent Representative of the UK to IMO at the MCA, provided some personal reflections about life as a woman in the maritime sector. She also outlined some of the work that the IMO is doing to promote gender equality and empowering women in the industry.
"As a woman who has risen through the ranks, I am aware that I have a responsibility to other women in the maritime sector to share my experience with them and support them in their career development. We are very few and we need a network to support each other, which is why the IMO global programme for the integration of women in the maritime sector and associations such as WISTA are so terribly important."
Joining Dr Kate Pike as part of the new Southampton team will also be Emma Broadhurst and Natalie Vigar from Southampton Solent University, and Teresa Stevens of Guardian Maritime Services Ltd.
The Southampton team would be delighted to welcome new members to their branch, ranging from senior management to cadet level, both women and men with diverse maritime backgrounds. Visit the WISTA UK website for more information about membership.
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