Recognising the need to further empower female industry professionals, and in celebration of the International Day for Women in Maritime; the UAE Maritime Week successfully organised the ‘Women in Maritime Business Excellence Roundtable’ to support the ‘She of Calibre’ initiative launched by the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MOEI UAE) last year. The roundtable was held on day 2 of the Week’s flagship event, Seatrade Maritime Logistics Middle East (SMLME), and saw the participation of some of the most renowned female maritime professionals that have played a pivotal role in revolutionising the sector locally, regionally, and globally.
The roundtable, sponsored by LenolMarine, Fichte&Co and Informa Markets, highlighted strategies and initiatives to increase female participation in the industry’s workforce at all levels by dismantling barriers, promoting diversity, and advocating for gender parity in a male-dominated field. The roundtable also shed light on significant contributions that women can make to the industry through their unique perspectives and skillsets, stressed on the challenges they face, and emphasised on the need for comprehensive policy frameworks to enhance their representation and professional development in the sector.
Nayana Nandkumar, General Manager, Dubai Shipping Agents Association (DSAA) said: “It is imperative for the maritime industry to acknowledge and embrace the significant value that women bring to the table. Female maritime professionals have over the years proven their expertise in navigating ships, managing ports, leading logistics operations, conducting research, and contributing to innovative solutions. Our diverse perspectives and unique experiences add immense value to the sector, fostering creativity, adaptability, and a broader range of ideas. By recognising and embracing the talents of women in maritime, the industry can benefit from a vast pool of untapped potential. It is not only a matter of fairness and equality, but also a strategic need for the sustainable growth and development of the sector.”
Promoting industry-wide collaboration and innovation
While the roundtable supported a key UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), SDG 5, which focuses on gender equality, the highlight of the day was the signing of six agreements between the Ministry and esteemed maritime entities across the region for the ‘Blue Pass’ initiative, aimed at building a more connected and digitally advanced industry.
Day two also featured the ‘Innovation Incubator’, which focused on the need for innovation in the maritime industry in the UAE and across the globe. The session hosted pitches from established and upcoming tech entities that showcased their ground-breaking solutions for the sector. The event highlighted the importance of embracing new technologies to increase operational and cost efficiency.
Emma Howell, Middle East Development Director, Informa Markets Maritime & Cruise portfolio said: "Day two of Seatrade Maritime Logistics Middle East 2023 was a testament to the importance of both diversity and innovation in the maritime industry. The Women in Maritime Business Excellence roundtable highlighted the need to increase female participation at all levels, while the ‘Innovation Incubator’ showcased how cutting-edge solutions will shape the future of the industry. As we move forward, it is essential that we continue to prioritise diversity and innovation to build a more resilient and sustainable maritime ecosystem."