. Image via Mercy Ships.
This week, female cadets at maritime academies across the United States will join over 200 paid participants attending a virtual conference organized to inspire and educate women about opportunities in the maritime and offshore industries. The event will feature executives, celebrities, and seafarers who will share their real-life knowledge and experiences as leaders in the maritime domain.
Throughout the event, the participants will be given time to share their stories and network via break-out sessions. While the introduction of maritime academy students tuning in virtually is new, the conference is not. This is the third global conference held by the Women Offshore Foundation which had to postpone its in-person conference this year due to COVID19.
”The most valuable part about our conference is the opportunities for women to meet each other and build friendships that will last a lifetime.” said Ally Cedeno, founder of Women Offshore. “We postponed the conference this year until we were able to figure out how to build these relationships digitally.”
The 3rd annual Women Offshore Conference will launch on October 2nd and 9th. Participants will attend keynote speeches and panel discussions. They will be inspired by experienced seafarers, learn from HR representatives, and gain knowledge from offshore experts. Through interactive sessions and workshops, they will network with others and share ideas.
Opening the conference will be Liz Schwarze, Vice President of Global Exploration, Chevron Upstream, a role she assumed in April 2018. In this role, she is responsible for Chevron’s worldwide exploration program. She also chairs the company’s Global Exploration Leadership Team and is a member of Chevron’s Management Committee and Upstream Leadership Team.
While most of the speakers and attendees are women, all who care about the oceans or work upon it are welcome to sign up. “gCaptain is very excited to attend.” says Captain John Konrad, founder of gCaptain. “The first officer I met aboard ship was Captain Beth Christman who was an influential mentor and friend. I did not register to share my experiences at sea or to speak as a maritime executive. I’m attending so that I can learn from exceptional leaders like Captain Beth and women mariners who offer a unique perspective about life at sea.”
US Maritime Administrator, Rear Admiral Mark Buzby, who was sworn in as Maritime Administrator in 2017, will also speak at the conference where he will discuss the importance of women to the US Merchant Marine. Prior to his appointment, Buzby served as president of the National Defense Transportation Association, a position he has held since retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2013 with over 34 years of service.
In addition to speakers, event panels and workshops will provide granular information on important topics like how oil companies are navigating uncertainty in 2020, work-life balance, imposter syndrome and confidence, human resource management, and self-advocacy.
While this conference will be fully digital it will remain focused on the people who are working together to chart a course for a future where female seafarers can connect and are representative of the population.
The Women Offshore Foundation is an online organization and resource center supporting a diverse workforce on the water. As a 501(c)(3), non-profit private operating foundation, its mission is to empower women in the maritime and offshore energy industries. At WomenOffshore.org, they shine a light on women in operations, provide resources to foster long-term careers, and share resources on gender diversity and inclusion efforts in the maritime and offshore energy industries. For more information and to register for the conference visit Women Offshore’s event page.
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