Promoting the maritime woman

The power of visibility – IMO's gender programme created a social media wall to build a bank of images of women in maritime



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 achieve a more diverse workforce, it is essential that women are visible – both within the maritime community and, more widely, in representations of the maritime sector in news reports and marketing material.

To address this, and to celebrate women, IMO’s gender programme created a photo search to build its bank of images of women in maritime.

IMO has invited women of the maritime sector to share photos of themselves at work, using the hashtag #MaritimeWomenPhotoShare. Thanks to contributions from around the world, IMO is building a bank of images of women in maritime, where external audiences can source quality and realistic photos for use in news stories, news reports, social media posts and brochures about shipping and the broader maritime world.

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 aim is to achieve a more diverse representation of maritime careers in the media, so that roles such as captain, chief engineer and seafarer are also portrayed by women. This will be key in inspiring young women to embark a maritime career, by showing there is a place for them in the maritime sector.

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 marketing materials 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.

 How to get involved 

IMO is therefore encouraging everyone to submit photos of themselves or their female colleagues at work in a maritime context.

  • Share on Twitter or Instagram
  • Use the hashtag #MaritimeWomenPhotoShare
  • Or submit through
  • Make sure the image is high resolution
  • Include job title, if possible name and nationality

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.

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