WISTA Hellas held a special event on December 14, at the Athens Marriott Hotel to present two Awards and to celebrate the holiday season, in a warm and festive atmosphere. About 300 guests had the opportunity to participate in the ceremony, exchanging their news and Christmas wishes.

Among the distinguished guests were Deputy Minister for Labor and Social Affairs Ms. Maria Syreggela, Secretary General for Tourism Policy and Development – Ministry of Tourism Ms. Olympia Anastasopoulou, Commandant of the Hellenic Coast Guard Vice Admiral Mr. Georgios Alexandrakis, President of the Hellenic Shortsea Shipping Association Mr. Charalampos Simantonis, President of Management Committee of Eugenides Foundation, Mr. Leonidas Dimitriades-Eugenides, Vice President of Hellenic Chamber of Shipping Mr. Georgios Alexandratos as well as correspondents from the Greek and International Press.

The President of WISTA Hellas and President of WISTA International as well, Ms. Elpi Petraki following the recent elections, welcomed everyone and announced the winners of two Awards that the Board of Directors had established last year. The “Leadership Award” was granted jointly to Ms. Eleonora Bachas and Ms. Maria Livanou and presented by Deputy Minister Maria Syreggela. The Leadership Award aims to recognize and reward achievement in gender diversity and equality either by leading positive actions to enable talented employees of all genders to realize their full potential, or by evidencing diversity within an organization, or by acting as a role model in championing gender equality within the Greek Maritime community, or by creating an inclusive culture by challenging gender inequalities.

This year’s award by unanimous decision of the Committee to two very dynamic women, who have succeeded against every stereotype in the male-dominated environment of brokers. Ms. Maria Livanou, Managing Director at Nilimar Ships Sale and Purchase, is the founder and owner of the first S & P Broker office, while Ms. Eleonora Bachas, Managing Director, founder and owner of the shipping Βrokerage Οffice Hellaschart and at the same time one of the founding members of WISTA Hellas.

Both Ms. Livanou with her precious cooperator, Ms. Katerina Louvari, continuing to pave the way for women in the competitive environment of shipbroking, and Ms. Bachas with her precious cooperator as well, Ms. Isidora Theotoka, having created one of the most successful shipping brokerage companies in Greece, they both support award-winning gender diversity in the Greek shipping workplace, while being a role model and source of inspiration for women in the industry, while at the same time promoting the continuous education of young professionals.

Deputy Minister Ms. Maria Syreggela mentioned that the shipping industry is represented by more and more women in managerial positions and pointed out that it is not only about human rights and gender equality but contributes to the sustainable development of the industry. She said that “no country, no state, no sector can develop sustainably if it does not include all human resources capabilities and especially women”.

The Award to the Hellenic Coast Guard, also established last year and is a recognition for excellence in the Port Authority administration of critical importance. Two Chief Petty Officers and Captains, Ms. Ourania Zafeiriou and Ms. Despina Chouchourelou received the awards from Commandant of the HCG, Vice Admiral Georgios Alexandrakis.

Vice Admiral Alexandrakis said in his speech that he honors the two female Chief Petty Officers and Captains of the HCG, who carry out an extremely important task, faithfully committed with professionalism, courage and passion, serving the operational and administrative pillars of the HCG. Vice Admiral Alexandrakis further mentioned that these awards are extremely promotional for the recognition of the most important role played by female officers in the HCG congratulating the Board of Directors of WISTA Hellas for this initiative.

Mrs. Petraki said that “Today we are granting these awards to two young women, captains. Both officers of the HCG carried out the duties assigned to them at the administrative level with maturity and efficiency admirable in critical port authorities and in sensitive areas of the Eastern Aegean, showing everyone that with passion and dedication, belief in abilities and commitment to ethical principles, the most difficult projects can be achieved.”

Ms. Petraki also thanked all WISTA Hellas members, the loyal sponsors and friends of the Association for their support and expressed her gratitude to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy and to other organizations for their excellent collaboration. She thanked especially the event sponsors Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp., Hill Dickinson International, Attica Group and International Registries Inc.

She invited everyone to be even more active with proposals and ideas for actions and to continue supporting WISTA Hellas, as today more than ever we all need to work for diversity and inclusion in the Shipping industry. Ms. Petraki concluded by wishing everyone Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year.

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