WISTA Conference Focuses on Shipping’s Challenges

Press Release
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Women’s Sea Congress Looks at the Future

The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) conference program scheduled to be held in Paris October 3-5 will focus on issues facing shipping today.  In addition to hosting its annual meeting and conference, WISTA has also created a new feature, the “Women’s Sea Congress” which will address women for innovation and modernity in shipping and the maritime economy. This annual gathering of WISTA members is augmented by industry leaders who participate in the three day event as both speakers and delegates, as the event is open to the maritime community.

The first day will be led by Peter Hinchliffe, Secretary General for the International Chamber of Shipping.  Featured topics will include “New regulations and new challenges for shipping” which includes Juan Riva, President of the European Community Shipowners' Association and Jeanne Grasso of Blank Rome Maritime; “Answers and solutions” including n Otto de Kat of A.P. Moller-Maersk; “Ship Financing” with Kathy Haines of Heidmar; and “Captain & Crews” featuring Mfon Ekong Usoro, General Secretary of the West Africa Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control.
Frederic Cuvillier, the French Minister for Transport, the Sea and Fisheries will open the following day’s Women’s Sea Congress.  Key topics offered are “The sea as the Earth’s future: new challenges for the maritime economy” with Francis Vallet, President of the Association of EU Maritime Clusters and the French Maritime Cluster, and accompanying roundtable discussions. 

“We are excited about the Women’s Sea Congress as we will give the word (and the floor) to personalities involved not strictly speaking in shipping and trading, but in various activities linked with the maritime economy”, observed Beatrice Witvoet, President of WISTA France.  In the afternoon, because we (all together and not a single workshop) will be focusing on  “Women at the top : how to make it happen?”, in a positive perspective--what is the advantage for companies to have more women at top management positions and can this advantage be figured out-- to motivate actual corporate policies. The starting point of this last session will be the presentation of McKinsey 2010 study “women matter” and the debate will concern the corporate best practices and the influence of female networks. We welcome the international maritime community to this important industry event.”


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