Europeisk Miljøhovedstad 2019: Oslo rocker mangfold i år, og DU er invitert!

2019 er året hvor vi går fra prat til handling! Vi feirer Miljøhovedstadsåret og Kvinnedagen med å løfte blikket fra MeToo og over til banebrytende initiativer som vil akselerere mangfold og likestilling i Oslos næringsliv.

5. mars er det klart for State of the City 2019 i OsloRådhus , med et stjernelag av dyktige endringsagenter på scenen!

Møt Oslos nye næringsbyråd, Marthe Scharning Lund, sammen med Raymond Johansen, Lan Nguyen Berg, innovative ledere fra bl.a Microsoft, Nordea og EY, spennende gründere som Javad Mushtaq, Kimberly Larsen, Heidi Aven og Tobias Bæch – og kvinnen som har tatt norske SHE Index til verdens nest største marked for å akselerere likestilling i indisk shipping; prisvinnende Sanjam Gupta.

Vi er stolte av å introdusere en rekke nyheter i forkant av årets Kvinnedag!

5 Mars kl.17-19 – Hovednyheter og lanseringer under State of the City 2019:

  • Rangering av Oslos posisjon og utvikling på viktige områder knyttet til innovasjon og verdiskaping, målt opp mot andre byer internasjonalt. Basert på et tungt internasjonalt datagrunnlag, gir rapporten et verdifullt innblikk i Oslos internasjonale posisjon og utvikling. I år følger også ekstra dybdeinnsikt i hvordan Oslo presterer innen to felt; veksten i grønn økonomi, og mangfold/inkludering.
  • Oslo Business Region har gleden av å lansere en verktøykasse for mangfoldsløft i næringslivet, med MAK, Seema, HunSpanderer og SHE Community. Fra 2019 stiller Oslo Business Region krav til alle samarbeidspartnere og Oslos næringsliv om å bidra inn mot et av disse verktøyene, eller tilsvarende initiativ som fremmer likestilling og mangfold
  • SHE Community, med globale partnere EY & Microsoft, lanserer SHE Index Global, med en av verdens mest mannsdominerte næringer (shipping) og 800 indiske selskaper som første pilot. Prosjektet støttes av indiske og norske myndigheter, UN Global Compact, Microsoft, EY og en rekke av verdens største shippingselskaper (bl.a. Maersk, CMA CGM og DP World i India). Samarbeidet med India har kommet igang gjennom Oslo Business Region
  • Lansering av Diversity & Inclusion Pledge for ledere og bedrifter, ved Javad Mushtaq i MAK
  • SHE Community lanserer SHE Index SMB & Startup edition, en indeks som måler og sammenlikner bedriftenes innsats på likestilling og mangfold. Indeksen er utarbeidet etter oppfordring fra Oslo Business Region

Mangfold, miljø og fremtidig konkurransekraft!

Hvorfor styrker vi satsningen på mangfold i næringslivet? Oslo Business Region og Miljøhovedstaden 2019 har valgt ut Europas største mangfoldskonferanse – SHE Conference 6.mars – som en av hovedarenaene for Miljøhovedstadens næringslivsprogram. Det er ikke tilfeldig. Mangfold og inkludering er en helt sentral premiss for å lykkes med å nå FNs Bærekraftsmål, og bidra til fremtidens Oslo med smarte, bærekraftige arbeidsplasser som styrker byens internasjonale konkurransekraft. 

Målsetningen bak nye initiativ og krav er økt oppmerksomhet, bredere og bedre datagrunnlag og raskere endringstakt for likestilling og mangfold i Oslos næringsliv. Ved å stille tydelige krav, bidrar vi også til å skape et større og bredere marked for Oslos gründere som utvikler verdifulle løsninger og innovasjon på et område hvor Oslo kan innta en internasjonalt ledende posisjon, og være europeisk mangfoldshovedstad. Vi ser på mangfold og likestilling som et felt hvor Oslo kan lede an i eksport av løsninger og samarbeid til et internasjonalt marked.


  • Byrådsleder Raymond Johansen
  • Oslos nye næringsbyråd Marthe Scharning Lund
  • Miljø- og samferdselsbyråd Lan Marie Nguyen Berg
  • Microsofts EVP for Global Partner Network, Gavriela Schutzer (Global partner med SHE Index, ansvarlig for P&L av $6.5B og leder en global portefølje som influerer over $1 trillion omsetning i økosystemet) 
  • Nordea Head of Wealth Mgt & CEO Norway, Snorre Storset og Thina Saltvedt (lanseringen av Nordea 1 Global Gender Diversity Fund) 
  • Styreleder, SHE Community, Camilla Hagen Sørli (SHE Community)
  • MD of The Perkins Fund, Founder of Broadway Angels, Sonja Perkins (Investeringer i tech)
  • Managing Partner EY Norway, Christin Bøsterud (SHE Index)
  • Professor Tim Moonen, MD, The Business of Cities (Oslos globale posisjon og rangering)
  • Javad Mushtaq, gründer – MAK (Diversity & Inclusion Pledge)
  • Sanjam Gupta, indisk shippingdirektør, likestillingsgrunder & pådriver av SHE Index India
  • Birgit M. Liodden, Director of Sustainability, Ocean & Comm., Oslo Business Region (Miljøhovedstadens næringsprogram og nye mangfoldstiltak)
  • Heidi Aven, gründer – SHE Community
  • Kimberly Larsen, gründer – Time to Riot
  • Tobias Bæch, gründer – Bakken & Bæch

Oslo Business Region, Miljøhovedstaden & partnere inviterer til ytterligere én viktig lanseringsarena kommende uke SHE Conference – Equality Matters (6 mars).

SHE satser modig, og bygger Europas største mangfoldskonferanse, som er valgt ut som en hovedarena for næringslivsprogrammet til Miljøhovedstaden 2019, med Gro Harlem Brundtland, Siv Jensen og Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Elisabeth Grieg og ca 70 ledere & eksperter på programmet. 

Under konferansen organiserer Oslo Business Region og Miljøhovedstaden en parallelsesjon om Partnerskap for Mangfold & Inkludering, sammen med et bredt antall samarbeidspartnere fra Oslos næringsliv; Polyteknisk Forening, MAK, Næring for Klima, Maritime Oslo, WISTA Norway, Professional Women’s Network, m.fl.


Birgit M. Liodden, Kommunikasjonsdirektør, Oslo Business Region: tlf. 951 71 389

Marianna Wachelke, Komm.koordinator, Oslo Business Region: tlf. 906 21 687

Ninja Sandemose, Pressekontakt Byråd for næring og eierskap: tlf. 907 957 60

MeToo, inclusion & freedom of speech

A year ago I fronted MeToo in global shipping. Based on the fact that no one had initiated the public debate, and a big and growing frustration from many young females in the industry, I chose to share some of my personal experiences, with specific ideas on a joint effort to create a more inclusive industry.

Many of those I’ve spoken with over the years, who have had MeToo related incidents or faced discrimination, have put the blame on themselves. Focused on what they could or should have done to avoid the situation. That’s what I wanted to shed light on. To point out what is unacceptable behavior, and that power abuse and harassment can happen to all.

After using my voice to push change within areas I believe to be key in the process of modernizing the maritime industry and increase its attractiveness and public image, I didn’t consider it too controversial to engage.

And I didn’t have the imagination that my post would create a fury at my former employer and cause sanctions.

Rather the opposite, as we had a very clear and open commitment to be the global arena leading the way to push diversity. But I had to apologize and defend myself in a meeting, and got a gag order.

Despite of engaging and writing as a private person, which was very clearly pointed out in the article and a following interview, it was required that all communication with the media should be directed to and handled by the employer. Alternatively, I would have to reconsider my employment. I obeyed. And what happened?

In Norway the big discussions were not raised, the topic and debate was chocked. We’ve seen the same in other industries and all around the world. There are various ways to efficiently stop the debate; a female surgeon who has worked on challenging the health sector, and a who founded a campaign to create awareness on unconscious bias, had to leave her career. Female athletes are forced to sign confidentiality clauses that hinders them from actively challenging their organization. Other sign clauses as part of an exit agreement.

The question is; how long will this work?

And is this really the path we wish to be on? Shouldn’t we, when faced with a time where change affects all part of our business models and core structures, welcome a necessary and healthy debate? When individuals are restricted from or warned against participating in public debates, we lose something very valuable- the opportunity for changing society for the better.

Female leaders stay silent because they don’t wish to be associated with MeToo. The elephant in the room in most male dominated industries has been that we tend to avoid the topic, and constructively focus on “show don’t tell” the value of diversity. Through taking a seat at the table, demonstrate results, but otherwise fit in. And no smart leaders wish to be seen as victims or weak – neither do I.

Many also fear that increased attention towards diversity challenges can increase the challenges, scare talents and build a negative reputation.

And parallel to this, we have discussed a new challenge; the MeToo aftermath seems to have increased the distance between men and women, that more executives seems to wish to get rid of “obnoxious” outspoken women or even being alone in a meeting room with a women, out of the fear for potential MeToo incidents. What a paradox! (Just be decent, by the way, and there’s nothing to worry about)

Succeeding with diversity and inclusive business culture is not only a nice thing – it pays of in a bottom line and competitive perspective. The approach of letting change happen organically and without implementing tangible, measurable efforts is nice in the theory. But as with any opportunity area or pain point, it’s extremely naive to think that it can be solved without applying what we do in other aspects of business; identify the challenge, work methodologically to resolve it, and measure how we succeeded.

The lack of a professional, measurable way of approaching this subject, also represents a huge problem, as we need the smartest, best brains and unconsciously fail to attract and retain half of them. There’s a gap between young talents’ expectations towards equal opportunities, and the reality of today’s business world. As a leader; do you realize the value of radical ideas and involvement from your employees, as a tool for succeeding with change?

I have been confronted with people asking me why I’m constantly “seeking attention”. I would say that once there are plenty other voices raising these topics, I’ll be happy to mute my own voice. So to anyone who are fed up with me appearing here and there, who’d like me to shut up; join the open debate now so that the mobilization of many voices and change agents accelerate. And I’ll happily lean back with a glass of wine, and enjoy the discussions.

And by the way; change always feels much better when we’re taking charge of it

proactively. So let’s create it together – from the inside – instead of passively waiting for it to hit us from the outside…

Life Inscriptions

Listening to podcasts and reading news debating wrinkles, the amount of pressure on looks, and negative influence making great girls & women insecure.

I’ve had my lines for many years now. They become deeper, and more visible when I’m stressed out or tired. My boys call them ski tracks.

These tracks are the marks of a lot of hard work, uphill battle as change agent, engaged discussions, late nights, lots of laughs, responsibilities, worries, sorrow – and loads of joy.

They’re a part of me, just as stretch marks, cellulite, love handles and all the rest that we pick up through life. There will always be something we can be unsatisfied with, should we choose to care. Someone will always be prettier.

Some years ago I decided that if I ever become tempted to fix my body, I’ll rather donate that amount of money to a good cause related to health. It’s a paradox that we spend so much time and resources on small, unimportant things as our own looks, when we’re quite normal, and what really matters is our health.

How often do you actually look at another person, thinking; “my God, look at her/his angry frown line and that forehead”(?) After all, its the personality of people that matters, not their perfect appearance..

A Norwegian songwriter described it so well: “A drawing of laughter we shared. A drawing of autumn dark paths. A drawing of joy we were given. A drawing of places and roads we walked.“

#embraceyourwrinkles #lifeinscriptions

100 Tools For Gender Equality: No. 4 – Visible Role Models

I’ve made a global list of more than 100 inspirational maritime women. How many inspirational women can you count within your organization? How many of these are visible internally? And how many of them are encouraged to engage and inspire outside of their own team, unit or organization? Let’s talk a bit about the importance of visible role models!

Elisabeth Grieg

For women joining shipping some 20-30 years ago, there were few female role models. Fortunately, this has improved over the past decade, and will continue to do so; but the number of visible women across the industry is still far too low. I’d really like to see a cultural change in shipping where we proactively seek to promote female role models to a much bigger extent than we currently do.

When I speak with students, youth and younger industry colleagues it’s very clear that we still need so many more role models for those to gain inspiration from. 50+ white males still dominate the picture most people have of shipping. In other words; our industry still looks very homogeneous from the outside, and this reduces our attractiveness not only among females, but also among other groups who don’t identify themselves with our external stereotypic image.

Sanjam Gupta

You could definitely claim that this is up to the women themselves, and that not everyone feels comfortable with attention and visibility. But quite often people don’t consider themselves role models- and fail to realize their own potential impact in inspiring others. And for most, it’s easier to be vocal and visible if you see support and interest from your employer and/or colleagues.

Suha Obaid

So in this case, I think that the lack of visible female role models is so important for shipping, both for the current and next generations, that we should all – any individual, leader and company – nudge maritime women to take up more space and share their knowledge, experiences and drive.

Karin Orsel

Anyone can be a good role model I this context, you don’t need to be a CXO with massive amounts of power. It might just as well someone junior, who is super engaged in their field and able to translate nerdiness into interesting insights. Or someone who’s a female first in their role or field.

Birgitte Vartdal

Today I’d like to challenge you specifically; if you’re an industry female reading this post, think of how you can contribute either within or outside of your own organization. And if you’re a male industry colleague, I’m certain that you know someone in scope. Nudge them, and look into which efforts your company have in place.

Rebekka Glasser Herlofsson

Within every company, every professional field, every segment of our industry, age group and hub there should be visible, inspirational and inclusive leaders to inspire young female talents through their studies and first junior roles, and eventually onwards as they aspire for new challenges – cracking glass ceilings, walls and conquering the infamous glass cliffs.

Here are some of the women that I have gained inspiration from over the years, listed in random order. As you can see there are plenty to pick from:

  • Elisabeth Grieg, G2 Ocean
  • Irene Waage Basili, Shearwater
  • Rikke Lind, Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue
  • Nina Jensen, REV
  • Sanjam Sahi Gupta & Sumi Sahi, Sitara Shipping
  • Karin Orsel, MF Group
  • Birgithe Vartdal, Golden Ocean
  • Capt Radhika Menon
  • Marte Lamp Sandvik, Pareto
  • Christine Spiten, Blueye
  • Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, Tototheo Group
  • Kirsi Tikka, ABS
  • Trude Husebø, Skuld
  • Cathrine Fosse, Western Bulk
  • Victoria Kostic-Nola, Frontica
  • Sofia Fürstenberg, Nor-Shipping
  • Elin Barstad, StormGeo
  • Danae Bezantakou, Navigator Shipping Consultants
  • Diane Gilpin, Smart Green Shipping Alliance
  • Astrid Sonneveld, GoodShipping
  • Isabel Welten, GoodShipping
  • Cristina Santa Maria, DNV GL Singapore
  • Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley, Ocean Tech
  • Eli Vassenden, Grieg Star
  • Julie Lithgow, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers
  • Sur Terpilowski, Maritime UK
  • Helle Hammer, CEFOR
  • Jenny Braat, Danish Maritime
  • Caroline F. Tiedemand, Eastern Bulk
  • K D Adamson, Futurenautic
  • Maria Belen Espineira, IT&L Legal Consultants
  • May Jensen, CSL Group
  • Sylvia Boer, Damen Group
  • Jeanne Grasso, BlankRome
  • Christine Rødsæther, SVW
  • Joan Nuijten Mueller, Multraship
  • Parker Harrison, Crowley
  • Caitlyn Hardy, Holland America Group
  • Katerina Stathopoulou, Investment & Finance
  • Rose Damen, Damen Group
  • Maria Andersson, DNV GL
  • Yngvil Asheim, BW
  • Namrata Joshi, NYK India
  • Katerina Stanzel, Intertanko
  • Maria Bruun Skipper, Danish Shipowners Association
  • Cathrine Marti, Ulstein Group
  • Naa Densua Aryeetey, Ghana Shippers’ Authority
  • Wenche Nistad, GIEK
  • Wiebke Schuett, Wallem Group Europe
  • Maria Mavroudi, Seascope Hellas
  • Dorothea Ioannou, American P&I Club
  • Sofia Coppola, Studio Legale Garbarino Vergani
  • Carolina Villa, Ship & Crew Services
  • Valeria Novella, Novella Tankers
  • Gunvor Ulstein, Ulstein Group
  • Karen Waltham, Spinnaker
  • Teresa Peacock, Spinnaker
  • Suzanne Paquin, NEAS
  • Bridget Hogan, The Nautical Institute
  • Jane McIver, BC Shipping News
  • Kjersti Kleven, Kleven Maritime
  • Anne Jorunn Møkster, Simon Møkster Shipping
  • Rebekka Glasser Herlofsson, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean
  • Carleen Lyden Walker, NAMEPA
  • Katia Christoforou, Marin Shipmangement
  • Christina Liviakis Gianopulos, American Ship Repair
  • Shehara Jeyawardana, McLarens Group
  • Alexandra Anagnostis-Irons, Total Marine Solutions
  • Pia Berglund, Swedish Shipowners Association
  • Janne Kvernland, Nordea Markets
  • Cathrine Fosse, Western Bulk
  • Kathleen Haines, Heidmar
  • Jasamin Fichte, Fichte Legal
  • Olufunmulayo Folorunso, African Shipowners Association
  • Cathy Metcalf, Chamber of Shipping of America
  • Ingrid Due-Gundersen, Höegh Autoliners
  • Cajsa Fransson, Swedish Maritime Authority
  • Hege Skryseth, Kongsberg Digital
  • Synnøve Seglem, Knutsen OAS
  • Anne Marthine Rustad, SINTEF
  • Gina Lee-Wan, Allen & Gledhill
  • Lyndsay Malen-Habib, Resolve Marine Group
  • Sabrina Chao, Wah Kwong Shipping
  • Suha Obaid, Folk Shipping
  • Lena Göthberg, Shipping Podcast
  • Kate Ware, Maritime & Coastguard Agency
  • Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore
  • Beng Tee Than, MPA Singapore
  • Kine Nordheim, Next Digital
  • Thina Saltvedt, Nordea
  • Angeliki Frangou, Navios
  • Catherine Hall, Shell
  • Benedicte Gude, Wilh. Wilhelmsen
  • Magdalene Chew, Asia Legal LLC
  • Xue Hua, Weichai Singapore
  • Sigrid Boman-Larsen, Fearnleys
  • Nancy Drakou, Clarksons
  • Pia Meling, Wilhelmsen Ships Service
  • Paulina Lepistö, Höegh Autoliners
  • Carol Howle, BP
  • Caitlin Hardy
  • Jillian Tobias
  • Kimberly Karlshoej
  • Nuvara Uslu Erdonmez
  • Sadan Kaptangolu
  • Yasmina Rauber
  • Maria Angelicoussi, Angelicoussis Group
  • Consuelo Rivero, Ership
  • Athina (Nounou) Martinou, Thenamaris
  • Ingvild Sæther, Teekay Offshore
  • Liv Hege Dyrnes, Thorvald Klaveness
  • Stine Mundal, DNV GL Hamburg
  • Mari Bygstad, Frontline
  • Siv Katrin Remøy, TTS
  • Marianne Aamodt, Clarksons Platou
  • Else Ingebrigtsen, North Edge
  • Siri Anne Mjåtvedt, Odfjell Tankers
  • Anna Larsson, Wallenius Wilhelmsen
  • Bridger Hogan, The Nautical Institute
  • Suzanne Paquin, NEAS
  • Jane McIver, BC Shipping News
  • Namrata Nadkarni, IHS Fairplay
  • Nicola Good, IHS Fairplay
  • Jane Porter
  • Sandra Speares
  • Helen Kelly, Informa
  • Tanya Blake, Safety at Sea
  • Lucy Budd, Seaways/Nautical Institute
  • Audrey Dolhen, CMA CGM
  • Inger Klein Thorhauge, Cunard
  • Nicole Langosch, AIDA
  • Serena Melani, Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Kate McCue, Celebrity Cruises
  • Nathaly Albán, Celebrity Cruises
  • Pinky Zungu, Durban Harbour
  • Cleopatra Doumbi-Henry, World Maritime University
  • Sigrid Teig
  • Kristin Eckhoff, EBC
  • Helen Riley, Lorentzen & Stemoco

And so so many more….

Now, let’s work together to make sure this list of visible role models grows exponentially during the coming years! And please share your input with me – which of your female role models are missing from the list..?!

Enjoy your weekend // Birgit

LeaderShip #WISTA2016

WISTA slightly amended the IMO slogan for 2016; Shipping {women} – indispensable to the {maritime} world. Sporting a slightly different delegate profile than your everyday maritime conference, WISTA AGM & International Conference 2016 gathered 300 female leaders from 33 countries for a 4-day conference onboard Holland America Lines’ M/V Koningdam for its’ maiden voyage in the U.S.

Among the prominent speakers & participants were INTERTANKO boss – Katarina Stanzel; IMO Director of Legal and External Affairs – RADM Fred Kenney; Shipowner & Board Member of ICS – Karin Orsel; President, Holland America Cruise Lines – Orlando Ashford; President, Total Marine Solutions & WISTA USA – Alexandra Anagnostis-Irons; Executive Vice President Fleet Operations, Holland America Group – Keith A. Taylor; Chief Financial Officer, Heidmar – Kathleen Haines; President and Chief Executive Officer, CSL Group – Rod Jones; Executive Director, Investments & Finance Ltd – Katerina Stathopoulou, and so many other people to learn from and get inspired by…

Grateful! #IamWISTA

WIstanbul – Veins of Shipping: The Millenials Workshop

A short glimpse from my opening speech at the Millenials workshop during WISTA’s International Conference in Istanbul 7-10 October. Fellow speakers at this interactive workshop were Greek Young Global Leader Danae Bezantakou and Sanjam Gupta, Director of Sitara Shipping in India. Initiated and organized by Maria Nygren and her colleagues of WISTA Sweden!

Behind the camera: Lena Götberg of Shipping Podcast

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