Women from across the local maritime sector gathered in the Air Jamaica building on Harbour Street, Kingston recently for the first meeting of the national Chapter of the Women in Maritime Association, Caribbean (WiMAC).
Organisers deemed the event a success with attendees exposed to the association's mission and benefits of membership.
Specifically, they were educated on the numerous opportunities that exist outside of Jamaica for career advancement through education. They were instructed on the possibilities of enrolling at World Maritime University and IMO the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) with chances of gaining consideration for IMO-funded scholarships through WiMAC and Caribbean Maritime Institute.
Those attending also heard of the opportunities to give back to the sector and the community by volunteering as WiMAC associates to become members. They were encouraged to become members and provide mentorship to colleagues and to contribute to maritime research and the mining of relevant local data. The meeting also commenced planning of fund raising activities for the last quarter of 2016 including the pooling of funds to offer scholarships at the local level for students and teenage mothers.
Under the global partnership for sustainable development, considerations were solicited for expanding on local strategies for WiMAC contributions to achieving National Strategic and Millennium Development Goals. These include ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all; achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, as well as conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources.
Networking and mentorship links were forged at the inaugural meeting out of shared stories of endurance, survival and growth of women employed in the maritime sector.
Guest speaker was Francine Staple, security and safety manager of Kingston's Freeport Terminal Limited, formerly the Kingston Container Terminal.