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Evangelia Fotopoulou: Emboldened Women Business Leaders in 2022

07

Evangelia Fotopoulou
Naval Architect, Co-founder and General Manager of Syndeseas Integrated Solutions Ltd

‘We are entering 2022 with a new mentality, enhanced capabilities – more experienced and better prepared to fulfil our goal: Democratising Digitalisation in shipping and unlocking the benefits of Maritime Big Data for all maritime organisations’

Syndeseas Integrated Solutions Ltd, is a Maritime Technology start-up incorporated in 2017 in Cyprus as our response to the declared global need for sustainable shipping, and a sustainable planet.
Transforming the maritime industry in pursuit of a sustainable shipping, is not a matter for the select few. It is a matter of levelling up the game for all maritime industry stakeholders – regardless of their individual available resources and infrastructure, using specially designed, cost-effective, high-yield technology enablers.

“Through our cloud-based software for ships fuel consumption and GHG emissions monitoring, reporting and verification, and with the efforts of our team and active global network of strategic partners, we strive to generate meaningful impact on a global scale, by developing and making easily accessible the necessary means (technology enablers) for enhanced regulatory compliance and operational performance optimisation, to all maritime organisations such as ship owners/managers, classification societies, port authorities, flag administrations, and regulatory bodies.”

Have you been confronted with gender-related roadblocks in your career?
“I always believed that in our days, women are no longer in need of any special promotion, as it is – or should be – completely normal for them to work and excel in any profession they want. Unfortunately, upon entering the market to work, I was shockingly proved wrong.
Every personal attempt of being assigned a job that involved going onboard ships (to gain practical knowledge, experience, and progress) failed, as employers always asked only for men for these positions, perhaps not exactly from sexist remnants, but from overprotective disposition, which in the end it is yet another colour for sexism.”

What do you think helped you the most to make a career as a woman, and what is the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
“At the start of my career as a naval architect, I experienced several gender-related barriers, especially since shipping is a male-dominated industry. I overcame all obstacles by focusing on how to best perform at my job, rather than trying to prove that I am not something less or anything special. The important things to share are not the barriers themselves, but their outcome: they helped me realise that if one dreams to do something that others make inaccessible, then one must create the dream and lead it.
I strongly believe that this can inspire more women with dreams and ideas, to stop feeling sorry behind other people’s closed doors and proceed with their own strengths, capabilities, and determination to open the door towards materialising their own dreams, hopes and expectations.”

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
“My advice to the current and next generation of female leaders is to remove the word ‘woman’ from their (and others) thoughts and efforts in the professional, innovation and entrepreneurial tracks, and simply become leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.
“Free from gender references and prejudice, without useless efforts for special admiration, dysfunctional competitions, and unnecessary agonies for proving things that are self-evident, we need to simply continue advancing in peace and confidence, generating meaningful impact, by creating and/or leading successful and innovative businesses, products and services.”

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