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PROFILE: Women in Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC)

Sterling support for women in search of a maritime career

WiMAC (Women in Maritime Association Caribbean) was launched in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in April 2015. It is the youngest of seven regional associations of female maritime professionals established under the banner of the International Maritime Organization.

The aim of these associations is to provide a forum for networking and advocacy in support of the IMO’s own program for the integration of women in what is still a highly traditional and male-dominated industry.

wimac logoWiMAC is governed by an eight-member general council led by the president, Claudia Grant of Jamaica. Other members are from Trinidad & Tobago (two), Jamaica, Suriname, Antigua & Barbuda, Belize and the Cayman Islands. The president and general council serve a two-year term and may be re-elected.

The inaugural conference of WiMAC was held in Montego Bay in 2015 and its first annual conference was in the Cayman Islands in September 2016. The next annual conference is to be held in Belize in 2018. This will probably be in September but the date has not been finalized.

Impetus

The impetus for WiMAC was born out of the 2nd Maritime Women Global Leadership Conference hosted by the World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden, in the spring of 2014. Jamaica was invited to participate in this conference and to present a Regional Perspective. Its conference paper, ‘Women in the Maritime Sector: Surviving and Thriving in a Man’s World – a Caribbean Perspective’, was the result of a joint collaboration between the Maritime Authority of Jamaica and the Caribbean Maritime Institute. The findings of this paper were informed by a survey conducted in eight Caribbean states – Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago – involving some 40 female maritime professionals from various sectors of the industry. One of its recommendations was the need to establish a network of national/regional associations in order to:

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