Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou Honored with First IMO Gender Equality Award

Singapore freight forwarders – Star Concord

[By: Tototheo]

Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou voiced gratitude at being selected as recipient of the first ever IMO Gender Equality award, presented by Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez ahead of the International Maritime Organization Women in Maritime 2024 event. The award recognised Co-Chief Executive Officer of Tototheo Maritime, Ms. Panayiotou Theodosiou’s leading and pivotal role in advancing gender equality and empowering women through her tenure as President of WISTA International.

Ms. Panayiotou Theodosiou said it was a tremendous honour to have been chosen for the award. “Over the last 10 years raising awareness of the incredible work women are undertaking within the maritime industry and the importance of gender diversity, equity and inclusion have been a key focus for me on both a personal and professional level,” she said.

The IMO said Ms. Panayiotou Theodosiou had brought significant attention to WISTA’s mission, shed light on the challenges faced by women in shipping, and raised awareness among industry stakeholders and international policy and decision makers. Her actions had also amplified the voices of women, highlighting their important contributions to the maritime industries. 

Ms. Panayiotou Theodosiou was instrumental in gaining consultative status for WISTA International at IMO, and the two organisations have since launched joint initiatives, such as the Women in Maritime Survey 2021 and the Maritime Speakers Bureau. The survey, which will be repeated this year, examined representation and distribution of women working in the maritime sector. The Speakers Bureau is a platform for female experts across a variety of maritime fields which seeks to ensure that conferences and events feature inclusive panels with a range of perspectives. 

“During my time as President of WISTA International it was a privilege to be part of the driving force behind many of the initiatives related to advancing gender equality within the industry. When I look at what has been achieved I feel an immense sense of pride for being able to play a part in bringing about change,” Ms. Panayiotou Theodosiou said.

“With that said, we still have a long way to go, and I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to continue to break down the barriers, acknowledge the need for change and work together to create a more inclusive and diverse maritime industry,” she added.

She extended her gratitude to the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Christodoulides and Shipping Deputy Minister, Ms. Marina Hadjimanolis for supporting her nomination.

The IMO Gender Equality Award has been established to recognize individuals, irrespective of their gender, who, either in a personal capacity or as representatives of their institutions, have made significant contributions to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women in the maritime sector.

Tototheo Maritime specializes in maritime technology solutions focusing on optimizing vessel and fleet performance in the fields of satellite communication, navigation systems, digitalization and end-to-end cyber security services.

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