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

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