Member Spotlight: Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA International) and WISTA Singapore
Formed in 1974, the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA International) is a global organisation that has been promoting female competency and diversity throughout the maritime sector (an industry notoriously known for being male dominated!). WISTA International has achieved amazing growth, both in numbers and influence, in the past 45 years. There are currently 47 national chapters with over 3,000 members worldwide.
WISTA International proudly cooperates with maritime organisations around the world, including: International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS), BIMCO, International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN), Intermanager, INTERTANKO, Women in Maritime Association (WIMA), Women in the Maritime Sector in East and Southern Africa (WOMESA). In 2017, WISTA International was awarded the Safety4Sea Sustainability Award and entered into an MOU with Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) to award scholarships to females seeking diploma certification at ICS.
In 2018, WISTA International became a consultative member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This is a significant recognition of WISTA’s role in the global maritime community. This year and going forward, WISTA has been and will be working very closely with the IMO to organise conferences, social media events, and raise awareness of what needs to be done to increase female participation in the maritime community. This synchs up perfectly with IMO’s World Maritime Day 2019 theme of “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community”.
WISTA Singapore was the first WISTA chapter to be founded in Asia in 1998 and is a non-profit organisation which provides a networking forum for professionals involved in shipping, trading and related business within the maritime industry. Although membership is restricted to women, all our events are open to and well attended by men and women.
WISTA Singapore regularly holds networking events and seminars to give members opportunities to develop domestic and international business relationships among members, creating opportunities to advance careers, cooperate, increase professional experience and skill, share best practices and work across borders. Every event is an opportunity for members to network with fellow professionals in the industry to share ideas, information and contacts, and more importantly to provide friendship, encouragement and support to one another. As such, membership numbers have steadily increased, especially with the introduction of corporate membership in May 2017. As at May 2019, there were a total of 72 individual members and 16 corporate members.
Most recently, WISTA Singapore was honoured to become a member of the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations.
In the past 12 months, besides regular networking “Happy Hour” events, WISTA Singapore has organised or supported a number of networking events and seminars such as :-
- 1 Nov 2018 – Lunchtime Seminar “Women (and men) in Shipping and Trading – are we really in the same boat?” hosted by Stephenson Harwood
- 12 Dec 2018 – Christmas Dinner at Amara Hotel
- 12 Feb 2019 – Seminar on “Trade Routes, conflict and piratical peoples, exploring Singapore’s early maritime history” hosted by HFW Singapore
- 18 Feb 2019 – CNY Lunch at Coriander Leaf
- 29 April 2019 – Joint Seminar with SSA YEG – “Taking ‘Men’ out of Mentorship” hosted by Norton Rose Fulbright
- 13 to15 June 2019 – WISTA Hong Kong’s Regional Conference
- 5 October 2018 – Pink Ribbon Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- 9 October 2019 Joint Workshop with HFW – Understanding and Leveraging Your Network – Creating Your Career Stakeholder Map