Valenciaport reaffirms its commitment to equality in the maritime sector during the visit of the women’s professional association WISTA SPAIN

  • Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) brings together women professionals from the maritime and transport sectors and develops networking, training, as well as awareness-raising activities on equality issues.
  • The visit of the WISTA SPAIN delegation, which also included students from the Maritime Law Master of the Catholic University of Valencia, coincided with the commemorations on the occasion of Women’s Day.
  • Women represent only 2% of the global maritime labor force, according to the study “Women Seafarers: Global Employment Policies and Practices”, prepared by the International Labor Organization (ILO)

Valencia, March the 12th 2018. – Valenciaport has received the visit of a delegation of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association in Spain (WISTA SPAIN), professional association of women of the maritime sector who have come to the port of Valencia accompanied by students of the Master of Maritime Law of the Catholic University of Valencia. The visit was attended by the general director of the Port Authority of Valencia, Francesc Sánchez; the commercial and business development director of the Port Authority of Valencia, Mar Chao, and the director of the area of corporate social responsibility and cooperation of the Valenciaport Foundation, Pilar Blaya.

During the reception to the delegation, the general director of the Port Authority of Valencia, Francesc Sanchez, pointed out how “in the maritime sector there is a long way to go, we have an abnormality situation in terms of equality, but progress is being made in this matter”. As Sanchez recalled, “when I joined as the CEO, there were no women on the steering committee, its 15 members were all men. At the moment I am satisfied, because in two years we have made progress and now there are 11 men and 4 women who are part of this committee. Now, we are still not in a normal situation, there is still a long way to go and we have to move from demonstrations to actions “. Sanchez emphasizes that “above all, people are more important than the infrastructure and machinery in the port facilities, as they are the ones who make that everything manages properly. In this area, the Port Authority of Valencia, through its Valencianport Foundation, works for its training and to correct this situation of abnormality and inequality between men and women in the maritime sector”.

For its part, the president of Wista Spain, Rosana Velasco, thanked the opportunity offered by the Port Authority of Valencia to learn first-hand the activity of the port of Valencia, as she says, “one of the leading ports in Spain that is developing an admirable work in expansion and internationalization “. Velasco thanked the words directed by the general manager of the PAV, Francesc Sanchez, in relation to “we have to correct this abnormal situation that the sector is experiencing. We help each other, we encourage women to join this work environment and we ask men to support us to improve this abnormality. “According to the president of Wista Spain, “the presence of women in the maritime sector is essential for the good development of our society and is in hands of those who are part of it. I appreciate the support in this matter from the Port Authority of Valencia and the Valenciaport Foundation”.

Subsequently, the commercial director and business development, Mar Chao, has presented to the representatives of Wista Spain all the potentialities of the Valencian site, but not before making a reference to the situation of men and women in the maritime sector where, according to Chao, “We have had to demonstrate much more to do the same and we still have a lot to do”. Chao has made a presentation of the port of Valencia, which has maritime connections with 1,000 ports on five continents through more than 100 regular lines and is a leading port in the Mediterranean, fifth in Europe and 28th in the world in container traffic. According to Mar Chao “these figures make the site a strategic ally of the Valencian business fabric in its foreign trade activities and reinforces the position of the Valencian Community as a destination for investment. Valenciaport is the economic engine of the region, generating almost 37,000 jobs in the Valencian Community “.

The visit of the delegation concluded with a tour of the installations to the port area, accompanied by the director of the area of corporate social responsibility and cooperation of the Valenciaport Foundation, Pilar Blaya and Jorge Civera, technician of the commercial department of the PAV.

Wista Spain 

The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) brings together professional women who work in the maritime and transport sectors in general. WISTA SPAIN was created in 2007 and had 15 members. Currently, the association is made up of 77 women from all areas related to the maritime sector, such as consignees, freight forwarders, equipment suppliers, experts, lawyers, public administration personnel, port captains, maritime rescue personnel and shipbuilders, among others professional profiles. The organization is part of WISTA INTERNACIONAL, which brings together 3,000 members from 40 countries and was born in 1974 in London, at the initiative of 6 women from the maritime sector.

The association seeks to facilitate contact among its members, the exchange of information and experiences, contribute to ongoing training, create links with other institutions and associations, attract women to the maritime sector and raise awareness of the advantages of taking advantage of female talent. WISTA last year received an award from the digital magazine on prevention of maritime risks, SAFETY4SEA, for creating a global and dynamic networking in support of women at the management level in the maritime industry.

WISTA SPAIN reminds that, according to the study “Women Seafarers: Global Employment Policies and Practices“, prepared by the International Labor Organization (ILO), women represent only 2% of the global maritime labor force. Most of them work in passenger ships, cruises (26%) and ferries (68%) and do so, according to the study, in the less qualified jobs, in the catering and service departments on board, which makes them even more vulnerable. Only 7% of them are official.