Women working in shipping must be supported, Deputy Minister of Shipping Marina Hadjimanoli said.

Speaking on Thursday, the minister said an action plan will be drawn up promoting gender equality in the industry, in concert with Commissioner for Gender Equality Josie Christodoulou.

“Women work in all aspects of the shipping sector around the world, on land and at sea, and contribute to the future of shipping,” Hadjimanoli, who was speaking at an event held on the occasion of world day for women in shipping, said.

The deputy minister noted that a significant gender gap still exists in the sector.

“Times are changing, but we must accelerate the change. The benefits of improving diversity in the workforce are clear,” she said, adding that it was important to pave the way to encourage the next generation of women to enter the industry.

Hadjimanoli reminded attendees that gender equality is seen as a key pillar for a sustainable future and is one of the goals in the UNs sustainable development agenda, which the island has committed to implement.

The first action for the promotion plan, Hadjimanoli explained, is mapping of the needs of women working in the shipping sector.

The event was attended by the ambassador of the Netherlands, former energy minister Natasa Pilides, representatives of women employed at all levels of the shipping industry, as well as in the commissioner for gender equality.