Imagine a world where a woman is shown as the expert, the captain, the chief engineer, and the one in control.

Though the maritime industry is seeing a shift in diversity and is beginning to put gender on the agenda, the absence of images showing women in action remains an issue.

To address this, and to celebrate International Women’s Day, IMO’s gender programme is launching a photo search to build its bank of images of women in maritime. The media have a great potential to promote the advancement of women and the equality of women and men by portraying women and men in a non-stereotypical, diverse and balanced manner.

The new IMO image bank will serve as a one stop shop for external audiences to source quality, realistic imagery of women in maritime, for use in news stories, news reports, social media posts and brochures about shipping and the broader maritime world.

Diversity matters. Women need to be visible and mainstreamed in the maritime community – on board ships, and throughout the sector as a whole – and, more widely, in representations of the maritime sector such as online, in news reports or in marketingmaterials such as brochures, so that when young women are surfing the web for careers after finishing school, they can be inspired by the huge variety of roles and ranks available to them.

IMO is therefore encouraging everyone to submit photos of themselves or their female colleagues at work in a maritime context using the newly launched hashtag #maritimewomenphotoshare

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said the photo search initiative was another step in IMO’s ongoing commitment to supporting diversity in the maritime sector.

“Seeing a wide range of images of a diverse workforce, and specifically, women at work in the maritime sector, will help redress the balance and showcase the wide range of opportunities there are for women throughout the maritime world.,” Mr. Lim said.

How to get involved

To participate, use the hashtag #maritimewomenphotoshare on Twitter or Instagram or simply submit photos through this email: [email protected]. Make sure to follow a few simple rules:

  1. Make sure the image is of high resolution
  2. Include a job title and, if possible, name and nationality
  3. Remember that if a photo is submitted, participants agree for the photo to be featured in the IMO photo library which will serve as a key resource for anyone searching for images of people in the maritime sector and specifically images of women in the maritime community.

The photo search will be open until the summer, here’s a look at what the campaign has already collected:

The images will be made available through a flickr gallery.

International Women’s Day
The theme of International Women’s Day 2020 is, I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights. The theme is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere. Read more:

IMO’s Women in Maritime Programme
IMO’s women in Maritime Programme has been running for more than three decades to
support the participation of women in the sector, under the slogan: “Training-VisibilityRecognition”.

IMO’s gender and capacity-building programme has helped put in place an institutional
framework to incorporate a gender dimension into IMO’s policies and procedures. This has supported access to maritime training and employment opportunities for women in the maritime sector. Read more:
IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of pollution by ships. Website:

Women Offshore

About The Author: Women Offshore

The Women Offshore Foundation is an online organization and resource center for a diverse workforce on the water. Its mission is to propel women into meaningful careers through access to a worldwide community and professional development resources, while raising awareness amongst industry leaders and decision makers about issues affecting women on the water. Contact Women Offshore today: [email protected].

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