The higher the proportion of female executives in top management, the higher the likelihood of above-average business success, according to the McKinsey study Delivering Through Diversity. And this formula also applies to the maritime industry, according to Claudia Ohlmeier, the new CEO of WISTA Germany. Greater commitment by the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) to diversity in shipping, trade and logistics raises the chances of success throughout the maritime economy. Given the lack of skilled workers, this applies even moreso. In office since July 2018, Ohlmeier stressed: “No company can afford to do without women at present.”
Tandem to the top
Ohlmeier, 39, has been a member of WISTA since 2009. “The network meets three criteria that are important to me: internationality, maritime and women. WISTA International focuses on female managers. We begin a bit earlier in Germany to lend support right from the start of a career,” Ohlmeier noted. Last year, WISTA Germany initiated a new mentoring programme in which women in the maritime industry are strengthened and promoted in tandems of experienced manager (mentor) and a junior employee (mentee). “The one-year programme deals with individual topics that are important for the personal and professional development of the mentees. They can be questions about leadership or communication, but also about business etiquette, style consulting or body rhetoric.”
Climbing the global career ladder
WISTA Germany is presently seeking more opportunities and co-operation partners to start even earlier and to win over young women for the maritime sector – a good approach, given that only 16 per cent of students in maritime study programmes are female. “We want to change this by highlighting the many opportunities our industry has to offer,” said Ohlmeier, citing the good career opportunities worldwide. “Whether captain, shipping merchant or broker, many companies operate on a global scale and thus the whole world is literally open to us.”
SMM – leading international maritime trade fair
Ohlmeier will highlight the benefits of the maritime economy for women in particular at the Maritime Career Market on the last day of SMM. Hamburg is hosting the international trade fair for the maritime industry from September 4-7, 2018 at the fairgrounds. More than 2,000 exhibitors from almost 70 countries and major shipyards in leading shipbuilding countries, market leaders in the maritime supply industry and SMEs with new technology and products are expected at the fair. SMM also features around 150 workshops, symposia and conferences and all kinds of networking opportunities for sealing deals.
“Personality of the Year”
WISTA’s agenda at SMM features a panel discussion on “Digitization- new chances for women?” The presentation of the “Personality of the Year” award on September 5, 2018 is another highlight. Now in its third round, WISTA Germany is awarding the prize to women who stand out as modern role models in the German maritime industry due to their special achievements, training, professional knowledge and responsible actions. Those interested can register now for the Panel Discussion on SMM.