BMA watermark crest

The Bahamas joins the international community in celebrating the inaugural IMO day recognising Women in Maritime

The Bahamas joins the international community in celebrating the inaugural IMO day recognising Women in Maritime

Recognition of the potential for women to play a vital role in maritime has never been greater and this year the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is launching an annual day to Recognise Women in Maritime.  This day will be the 18th May every year and in 2022, an International Symposium is being organised by the IMO as a celebration of this landmark event.

The Bahamas has been at the vanguard of embracing women in maritime – two of The BMA Board’s past three chairpersons have been Bahamian women of influence.  We are proud to again have a female Minister of Transport & Housing through Minister Jobeth Coleby-Davis who is an advocate of female empowerment and continues to encourage more women to join shipping so as to create a level playing field and inspire the next generation of professionals within the broad maritime sphere.

This diversity of approach extends to the BMA’s workforce, which boasts a strong gender balance of 51% females to 49% males. Their insights, expertise and dedication have given The Bahamas the solid foundation to build a globally renowned, quality ship registry with a strong international presence. 

A measure of shipping’s growing appeal among women is the BMA’ s sponsored Bahamas Maritime Cadet Corps (BMCC) ( where participation by female cadets generally exceeds 50% and occasionally reaches as high as 60% of the total cadet intake. These cadets’ capability and potential is unquestionable as demonstrated in the Class of 2020 when 4 out of the 6 Top Cadet award recipients nationally (65%) were female cadets. Upon completion of the cadet programme, these female cadets continue to excel and  lead the way as seafarers attaining the international recognised professional qualification as Officer of the Watch which enables them to sail on ships of any type or size.

We wish to encourage Bahamian female students, who are reviewing their career options, to consider joining the programme as we strike up even more collaboration and partnership with shipowners to broaden employment in this dynamic and critical industry.

Encouraging more women to join shipping is essential to a balanced industry where everyone, male or female, has the same opportunity to progress. As more women enter the industry and showcase their competence and professionalism, this should result in these professionals being appointed to more managerial and executive appointments within every aspect of the sector.  

Jacqueline M Simmons, Chairman of The BMA Board of Director

Jacqueline M Simmons, Chairman of The BMA Board of Director, said: “The raising of national maritime awareness of shipping and its critical importance to the Bahamas’ economic development remains a core strategic objective of the BMA. We are committed to promoting UN sustainability goal 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls hope to continue to  encourage even more women and Bahamians at large to consider a maritime career and contribute to the national maritime capacity building.”

Capt. Dwain E. Hutchinson (ex-officio)
Capt. Dwain Hutchinson, BMA’s Managing Director & CEO

Capt. Dwain Hutchinson, BMA’s Managing Director & CEO and Clayton Curtis BMCC Maritime Coordinator joined the Chairman Simmons in extending thanks and appreciation to all those shipowners and industry groups such as The Bahamas Shipowners Association, who offer their commitment to supporting the training of,  and identifying potential employment opportunities to, young Bahamians. 

Women have long played a major role in building one of the world’s leading maritime industries here in The Bahamas. As the nation and the world adjusts and learns to manage in the “post COVID-19” climate, we need to build on our experiences and play our part to give talented females more opportunities to steer shipping towards a bright, environmental sustainable and prosperous future.