June 5, 2023

Cayman Islands delegation attended WISTA AGM & Conference 2017 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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4th December, 2017 George Town, Grand Cayman

Dorisley Jackson, current Cayman Islands WISTA President, and Robynette Hera, Board Director, attended WISTA International’s AGM and Conference in Rotterdam 3rd – 6th October, 2017. This year’s theme was “Future‐proofing Maritime Solutions”. Approximately 280 women from WISTA chapters from around the world were in attendance.

WISTA was formed in 1974, and is an international organisation that seeks to empower women and promote careers in the shipping industry. It serves as a connector for its network of more than 3,000 female professionals in various occupations in the shipping industry. WISTA has 40 National WISTA Associations (NWA), each of which in turn is a member of and is guided by WISTA International. NWAs provide in‐country and regional networking, business and skill building opportunities, corporate visibility, and facilitate relationships within the industry.

“On a global scale, WISTA members have access to an incredibly diverse network of executives in the shipping industry on whom we can call for referrals, connections, advice or business collaborations,” said Ms. Jackson. “It was important for us to attend to not only take advantage of the many networking opportunities, but also to find out what is happening around the world in WISTA organisations and in the industry itself.”

The first day of the conference was the WISTA International Board of Directors and the Presidents’ Dinner that was held at the Wereldmuseum, a beautiful museum which was once the Yacht Club of Prince Hendrik.

The second day had a packed agenda and hosted the NWAs’ Presidents’ Round table discussion in the morning, followed by the WISTA AGM with all of the WISTA members in attendance. At this meeting, the WISTA Cayman Islands’ President confirmed Cayman’s bid to host the AGM
and Conference in the Cayman Islands in 2019. Hosting the AGM in the Cayman Islands will bring many opportunities to our shipping community and to the country itself. Day 2 concluded with a welcome cocktail reception at the Maritime Museum Rotterdam, one of the oldest and largest museum harbours of the Netherlands.

On day 3 the attendees enjoyed rich content and thought‐leadership delivered by industry expert keynote speakers with informational and educative presentations. To name a few:

Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia‐Henry ‐ President World Maritime University (WMU) gave a lecture regarding how to prepare the new generation for the future.

Rose Damen ‐ Damen Shipyards Group ‐ Non‐Executive Board Member Damen Shipyards Group, Commercial Director for Amels, Damen SeaXplorer and Damen Yacht Support.

Ms. Damen gave a lecture about family values and endless ambition, and how her family‐owned Shipyard started with 6 employees and today Damen is a group of 50 companies in 28 countries, and with 9,000 employees, an impressive accomplishment in a male‐dominated industry.

In the afternoon, delegates enjoyed social networking and a boat tour on one of the largest harbours in the world, and finished the day with a gala dinner at the The Hulstkamp Gebouw.

On the last day, there were more presentations and speakers and the conference closed with an interesting city tour.

One of the Cayman delegation’s objectives was to glean new ideas from international chapters that could be introduced to the Cayman Islands. WISTA Cayman Islands has a small but active membership of professional women within the shipping industry. In the past, they have supported the Seaperch programme underwater robotics competition and a school programme to educate students on careers in shipping as well as the annual scholarship available through the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands (MACI). A goal for 2018 is to develop a Safety at Sea Seminar for residents in the Cayman Islands.

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