The Women in Maritime Association Caribbean conducted a conference and the 6th Annual General Meeting from 3rd to 5th October 2023 at the Conference Centre of Ocean Coral Spring Hotel, Trelawny, Jamaica.
The theme under which this conference was held is “Navigating Horizons” which highlighted the importance of creating a more robust network for the women of the Caribbean towards a sustainable maritime industry.
The maritime industry is responsible for transporting goods, products and people by sea. The maritime sector plays a vital role in the global economy.
Such a conference containing empowering and relevant information brought approximately 15 countries across the Caribbean together. It is also given the name of SEAsters.
Dr Evette Smith Johnson, the upcoming President of the Women in Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC), stated, “Caribbean sea isn’t what separates them, it is what binds them together, and they will grow as SEAsters from strength to strength”.
The newly elected WiMAC Governing Council is :
PRESIDENT: Dr Evette Smith Johnson from Jamaica
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: Mrs. Tamara Lowe – James from Dominica
VICE PRESIDENT, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: Ms. Suzette Balkaran from Trinidad and Tobago
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE: Ms. IIaisa Lila from Suriname
VICE PRESIDENT, MEMBERSHIP: Ms. Abigail Bryan from Jamaica
VICE PRESIDENT, PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MARKETING: Mrs. Tricia King from St Kitts and Nevis
DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS: Ms. Raquel Forbes from Jamaica
VICE PRESIDENT, WOMEN AND DEVELOPMENT: Mrs. Katina Benn from Guyana
MEMBER-AT-LARGE: Ms Carlita Benjamin from Dominica
OPERATIONS MANAGER: Ms Valerie Simpson from Jamaica
This WiMAC conference was attended by 80 participants, including members of the Student Chapter, launched on 28th September at the Caribbean Maritime University, Jamaica.
The World Maritime Day is being celebrated worldwide on 28th September, the purpose of which is to raise awareness and promote the importance of the shipping industry. Also, to highlight the significance of the Maritime industry, including their security and safety, needs to be followed while shipping.
Mrs. Eva Lewis, the Director of Citi Jamaica and a St. Lucia national, was the primary speaker at the conference. She challenged the members present to give their perspective on “Networks” by highlighting its purpose, its value of mentorship and its vulnerability. It was an educational and motivating experience for all who were present.
The International Maritime Organization has played an essential role in creating networks to enhance and promote gender equality in the Shipping industry.
Eight WIMAs have been established through the IMO leadership, including WiMAC. The WiMAC 2023 conference and Annual General Meeting was hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica.