The International Maritime Organization, and the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association have launched a global survey to examine the proportion and distribution of women working in the maritime sector, from support roles to executive level positions.

The Women in Maritime – IMO and WISTA International Survey 2021 survey is part of a series of activities aimed at laying the groundwork for further discussions on how to build a more diverse workforce within the maritime sector, essential for a sustainable future. The data obtained by the survey will help build a picture of diversity and gender equality in the industry.

“Diversity in  maritime matters. We need solid data on female participation,  as this will enable us to track and quantify our ambitions in what has traditionally been a male-dominated sector,” said IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim.

The launch of the study follows the 2020 signing of the IMO-WISTA Memorandum of Understanding on promoting greater diversity and inclusion through enhanced cooperation activities in the maritime sector.

The MoU aims to set a framework for both IMO and WISTA to promote gender diversity and inclusion as vital factors in providing a sustainable future for the shipping industry worldwide.


  ”Empowering women fuels thriving economies across the world, spurs growth and development, and benefits everyone working in the global maritime community and beyond,” said Mr Lim.

Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou,  president at WISTA International said,  ”Having  comparable data is a key component when  creating programs and proposing policies that will increase the participation of women in maritime.

“It is an essential  step forward in creating a more diverse and inclusive environment in our sector. ”

The IMO and WISTA International survey is open to IMO member states, IGOs, NGOs, public and private companies in the maritime sector and maritime training establishments. There are two separate surveys to be completed by Member States and industry.

To access the survey:

Click here for Member State survey:

Click here for NGOS/Companies survey:

The deadline for the completion of the survey is 30 June 2021.