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Focus on Panama

Women in shipping: Panama’s pioneers

Seatrade Maritime Women in shipping: Panama’s pioneers
The maritime industry has been, and is mostly dominated by men, a ‘male territory’. Here are some names of women who have broken the mould and are on the frontline of maritime establishments and authorities.

Women have fought and gained their space in executive positions in the Panamanian maritime sector: In government entities, guilds, law firms specialised in ship registration, port operations, auxiliary services, logistics companies, shipping lines and foreign companies related to the sector. Maritime companies are no longer a male-only sector and women’s participation is growing constantly.

A selected few have created their companies or own them by inheritance becoming their general managers. They are decision-makers, renowned responsible professionals well respected by their male colleagues.

As we write this chapter, the announcement of the award of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences to Claudia Goldin, a Harvard professor, for advancing the world’s understanding of women’s progress in the work force, could not be more auspicious. Her research uncovered the reasons for gender gaps in labour force participation and earnings, topics that are daily issues for women in shipping who often face discrimination, even sexism and unequal pay.

Claudia Goldin, 77, the first woman to be awarded the prize in solo, is the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University and has long been a trailblazer in the field. Her discoveries have vast societal implications. She saw a woman winning the economics award on her own as a sort of ‘culmination’ after years of ‘important changes’ toward more gender diversity in the field.

In Panama’s maritime sector, women hold important positions as top executives, with even a captain in a cruise line, and their number has grown in the past decade.

Read the full article in our Panama Maritime Review 2023/2024