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Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou receives first IMO Gender Equality Award

The International Maritime Organization presented its first Gender Equality Award to mark IMO International Day for Women in Maritime on May 17.

Theodosiou was nominated for the award by Cyprus and chosen by an assessment panel for the pivotal and leading role she played in advancing gender equality and empowering women throughout her tenure as President of WISTA International. 

The assessment panel was made up of representatives of WISTA International; the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF); the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS); two IMO Member States from the IMOGender Network; and the chair of the IMO Legal Committee. The panel’s decision was endorsed by the IMO Council last November at its 130th session.

“For over a decade, it has been my privilege to raise awareness of the incredible work women do in maritime, and to amplify their voices. It is therefore humbling to be the first-ever recipient of an award whose purpose is to reinforce a principle that is strived for so passionately by many, and increasingly recognised as not only crucial but also beneficial for the advancement of the maritime industry,” said Theodosiou .

The award was presented by IMO secretary general Arsenio Dominguez.

“My heartfelt gratitude goes to Nikos Christodoulides, President of the Republic of Cyprus, and Marina Hadjimanolis, Shipping Deputy Minister, for supporting my nomination,” said Theodosiou.

Theodosiou is CEO of satellite communications and technology company Tototheo Maritime, former president of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, and Cyprus ambassador for the Seatrade Maritime Club.