Despina Theodosiou Wins Inaugural IMO Gender Equality Award

Championing Gender Equality in Maritime: A Cypriot Trailblazer

In a significant move to highlight the importance of gender equality within the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is set to honor an influential figure in the field. Shipping Deputy Minister Marina Hadjimanolis will represent Cyprus at the IMO’s International Day for Women in Maritime on May 17, 2024, where the spotlight will shine on Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou.

Theodosiou, a prominent personality in maritime circles, is poised to receive the inaugural IMO Gender Equality Award. This prestigious accolade is a testament to her remarkable efforts in promoting the role of women in maritime, particularly through her work with the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA International).

As the former president of WISTA International, Theodosiou’s tenure from 2017 to 2022 saw the association grow to include 59 National WISTA Associations. Her leadership and advocacy have not only raised awareness but also paved the way for women’s empowerment across the maritime sector.

The IMO Gender Equality Award is designed to acknowledge individuals who have made outstanding contributions to gender equality, regardless of their gender. Theodosiou’s selection by an esteemed assessment panel reflects her significant impact and commitment to this cause.

Theodosiou’s professional achievements extend beyond WISTA. She is also the joint CEO of Tototheo Maritime, a leading service provider that delivers cutting-edge solutions in digitalisation, maritime satellite communications, automation, and navigation systems.

Nominations for the award come from a diverse range of entities, including member states, UN agencies, intergovernmental organisations, and non-governmental organisations with consultative status with IMO. The assessment panel comprises representatives from WISTA International, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), members of the IMO Gender Network, and the chair of the legal committee.

Theodosiou’s recognition during the International Day for Women in Maritime serves as a beacon of progress and an inspiration for continued efforts towards achieving gender equality in this traditionally male-dominated industry.

IMO Gender Equality Award

Who won the first IMO Gender Equality Award?

The first IMO Gender Equality Award was won by Katy Ware, a marine professional from the United Kingdom, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to promoting gender diversity in the maritime sector.

Can Despina win another IMO Gender Equality Award?

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