Captain Patrik Dahlgren, senior vice president, Global Marine Operations at Royal Caribbean Cruises will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 WISTA International AGM and Conference.
The event will be hosted by Cayman’s Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association from 29 Oct. to 1 November.
Captain Dahlgren is responsible for six cruise brands with offices in Miami, London, Hamburg, Madrid and Shanghai. His seagoing experience started as a bridge officer with tugboats, yachts and an array of cargo vessels and ferries.
He proceeded through the ranks with over 15 years on board Royal Caribbean International cruise ships, with his last seagoing command being Master of Oasis of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas, and he was responsible for the final launch of the Quantum class.
Dahlgren was personally responsible for raising the percentage of female bridge officers at Royal Caribbean from 5% to 20% within a 12-month period, and continues to promote the participation of women in maritime professions.
“More women than ever are entering the maritime industry. Being an industry leader in diversity, we continue to focus our efforts on attracting, supporting, and growing our woman talent pool,” Captain Dahlgren said. “Expanding on the talent available is not only the right thing to do from a gender equality perspective, but also good for the industry. Ignoring a growing gap in the talent pool means that we are ignoring 50% of available capable talent,” he said.
“Celebrity Cruises and RCL look to provide ongoing opportunities to women in these roles as this industry continues to grow, and I very much look forward to having this conversation at the conference.”
Other industry professionals slated to speak at the conference include Lilia Khodjet El Khil, project technical manager for the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), who will talk about GloFouling Partnerships, a joint project between the IMO, United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environment Facility to address the transfer of harmful aquatic species in some of the developing regions of the world through biofouling – fouling of pipes and underwater surfaces by organisms such as barnacles and algae.
International hostage negotiator Suzanne Williams will speak on the topic of ‘Business Negotiation in A Global World’, as well as moderate a panel on doing business globally.
In addition, Jodi Munn Barrow, secretary general, Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, and Jennifer Nugent-Hill, director of governmental and community affairs at Tropical Shipping USA, will discuss ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community: Diversity/Gender Bias’.
“I am inspired daily by the awesome women whom I have the privilege to call my colleagues across this vast maritime industry. These mighty women of courage who push through the challenges of the workday using their leadership skills and talents to increase profits, proving the idiocy of barriers such as the lack of gender inclusivity in organisations,” said Nugent-Hill. “I am also encouraged by the strong and open-minded men who are champions for diversity and have recognised that effective leaders exist in both genders and have willingly provided a seat at the table, on the deck or at the helm of the ship for women.”
It is the first time that Cayman is hosting the WISTA annual general meeting and conference, which will bring over 200 maritime experts from more than 30-plus countries. The theme for the conference is ‘Founded Upon the Seas’ and the event is sponsored by Maples Group, Port Authority of the Cayman Islands, NetClues, TotoTheo Maritime, Cayman Registry and Jones Walker.