WISTA and Svitzer Australia have partnered to launch a leadership course for women in the maritime industry.

A series of six workshops aims to develop leadership skills among women who are emerging as leaders in shipping, maritime, trade and logistics sectors.

The first day-long workshop, called Leadership Mastery for Women in Maritime, is scheduled to coincide with International Day of the Seafarer on 25 June.

This initial workshop, to be held in Sydney, sets in motion a program of biennial workshops to run in capital cities around Australia. The second workshop this year, in Fremantle, will fall on 26 September, which is World Maritime Day.

WISTA Australia president Monika Lemajic said the education partnership would support up to 120 women in maritime, shipping and trade over the next three years.

“The shipping, maritime, trade and logistics sectors provide incredibly rewarding professions with significant growth opportunities, but to be successful in our sector can be tough and presents unique challenges, with women encountering particular hurdles in their journey toward leadership positions,” Ms Lemajic said.

“To be a successful leader in our industry, and in any career, requires presence, resilience and the ability to influence groups and individuals – and we are excited at the opportunity to be build the capability of women in shipping through this training program.”

Women are under-represented in key decision-making roles across almost all industries in the Australian workforce, but it is especially low in the shipping, trade and maritime sector, according to WISTA and Svitzer.

They said women only represent 1.2% of the global seafaring community and in Australia, women account for only 5% of CEO/COO and leadership roles in the maritime industry.

“Creating an attractive and inclusive environment for women in maritime is incredibly important if we are serious about enhancing the dynamism and sustainability of our industry through a more diverse workforce,” Svitzer Australia managing director Videlina Georgieva said.

“That’s why this education partnership is really important for us – if we can increase the pool of female leaders in the sector, with an enhanced skillset and network to thrive, then we are creating a great foundation for the industry’s future success and talent pipeline more generally,” she said.

“We are grateful we can assist the next generation of female leaders in our industry, if only in a small way, through our support of the program.”

The leadership course is designed to enhance women’s personal leadership styles and skillsets and lay the foundations for a future network and mentoring community. The training provider is Eleanor Shakiba from leadership training provider Think, Learn, Succeed.

Workshops are geared toward team leaders, managers and emerging leaders who want to power up their confidence, influence and impact at work.

WISTA and Svitzer encouraged women in on-shore, office and offshore or on-water roles to apply.

More information about the course is available on the WISTA Australia website.