Women's International Shipping & Trading Association

Study on the Impact of Covid19 on Women in Maritime

October 4, 2021










WISTA steering the way forward

WISTA is the first to conduct a survey focusing on impact of covid both positive and negative on women in the maritime sector, taking the lead building upon the research done indicating the impact of the global pandemic on women.
WISTA International is launching this Wednesday (29 September 2021) a maritime specific survey, concentrating on women in the maritime industry, in collaboration with Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo in Brazil who will be sponsoring WISTA with 240 hours of research work.
The online survey focuses on the impact COVID-19 has had on both the professional and personal lives of around 3800 women in the maritime industry who are members of WISTA’s global network. The survey is part of WISTA’s diversity committee’s ongoing programme and the research will help to define the current position of women and the opportunities for them in the maritime sector.


Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, President of WISTA International, believes growing awareness for women in the maritime industry will help ease pressures and allow discussions for change.
“The global pandemic has increased the pressures both financially and mentally for women and men who have to balance their work commitments with family life. Working from home is not always an easy task and it will have an impact on the maritime world as pressures increase. But the role of women in any household, especially with children or elderly family members, means they are, in many ways, under greater stresses during any home working obligations. There is huge potential to redefine the roles of women in the maritime industry. This is an ideal opportunity to re-examine roles, create new career opportunities and give women the support they need.”


Fabiana Simões Martins, WISTA International ExCo Member and Co-Chair of its Diversity Committee, believes that now, more than ever, the maritime industry should place gender equality goals high on its agenda.
“At the stage we are at now, it is clear that COVID-19 accelerated change and brought challenges to all, but specifically to women, threatening gender equality goals for the coming years. It is the role of good leaders to engage everyone and put equality in the centre of the agenda toward a sustainable and global recovery. The way to start is understand the new challenges that women face globally, and this is the aim of WISTA International’s COVID survey.”


Sanjam Sahi Gupta, WISTA International ExCo Member and Co-Chair of its Diversity Committee, thinks that data gathered from this survey will assist in making informed decisions about the future.
” While we all know and talk about the impact of COVID-19 on women, it’s important to get data that provides indisputable evidence. We need to use this data instead of assumptions which might lead to an incorrect conclusion. The findings will help us find the gaps and empower us to make informed decisions to support women”.


The objectives of the project will look to identify the positive and negative impact of what the pandemic has brought to the women in the maritime sector, whilst also looking at the new jobs and opportunities that have arisen.
Getting such in-depth research from such a large pool of respondents will give more accurate insights into the true influence COVID-19 has had for the women in the maritime industry, allowing WISTA to explore solutions and give recommendations for suggestions.

WISTA Members can contact their NWAs to receive the link to the survey.



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