Historically, women have played only a minor role in shipping, shipbuilding and related areas up to the present, but decision makers in the industry are now beginning to recognize their potential in view of the current shortage of skilled people. Women are a major focus at the Maritime Career Market held at SMM. A highlight is presentation of the “Personality of the Year 2016” award by the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA).
More women means more profit, as shown in a study by the Peterson Institute in Washington published in February 2016. The more women a company employs in middle and senior management, the better its earnings. The rule of thumb is that an increase in female executives from zero to 30 percent boosts profitability by 15 percent. The study is based on responses by nearly 22,000 companies in 91 countries.
The Maritime Career Market at SMM in Hamburg on September 9, 2016 will shine the spotlight on career opportunities for women. Shipbuilding companies, equipment suppliers and port companies are feeling the demographic change and desperately seeking skilled workers, executives and young talents – and that is precisely where women come in. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has recognized the importance of this subject and set a clear signal – the recently adopted National Ports Concept explicitly recognizes as an ongoing task the need to “increase the percentage of women employed at ports.”
The Maritime Career Market is intended to help women in their vocational development – it is a very good sign that this subject is being addressed at an industry fair which is more aimed at technical matters,” said Dagmar Klenk, President of WISTA Germany. The organization has been engaged for more than 40 years in women’s international networking in the maritime industries. If it goes well, she adds, the Maritime Career Market could become a fantastic cooperation opportunity for the women and companies concerned.
WISTA has played a part at SMM for many years, holding an evening reception for its international members attending SMM as exhibitors or trade visitors. A special highlight is planned again this year – WISTA Germany will present the “Personality of the Year 2016” award at SMM. “Our aim with this award is to highlight female personalities who have an exemplary function in career and commitment in the maritime industries,” said Dagmar Klenk, President of WISTA Germany, who works in the management of a Hamburg shipping company. “We made a deliberate choice to present this award at the leading global fair SMM to increase awareness of our network in this prestigious setting.”
Promotion of young talents is another key factor in the Maritime Career Market – on September 9, 2016, school and university students have a unique opportunity to get first-hand information about training and career paths in the maritime industries. The event specifically addresses girls with an interest in the industries – “Women can get an impression of the career opportunities in the maritime industries here at the world’s leading maritime industries fair,” said Carin Steinbach, Deputy Project Director for SMM. Carin Steinbach is closely involved with maritime subjects and joined Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH in 2001. She notes that many of the 2,100 SMM exhibitors are attractive employers with good prospects for trainees, qualified staff, skilled workers and management executives. A good example of the business power prospects for women in a largely male domain is Angeliki Frangou, Chairman and CEO of Navios Maritime Holdings.
WISTA President Dagmar Klenk can only recommend that women go into the maritime industries – “An exciting and varied field of work, full of fascinating opportunities. The maritime industries have such a variety of activities – in shipping companies on shore or at sea, in the equipment supply industry, and in finance.” And they are highly international.
More women in the maritime industries – that can be a win-win situation for companies and applicants. WISTA and the Maritime Career Market at SMM give a major boost to this development.