The president of RETE (Association for collaboration between ports and cities) Teófila Martínez, said that although the female quota in the global maritime sector has grown by 45 percent in the last 8 years, “there is still a long way to go, because the presence of women is still minimal, they are  only 2 out of every 100 people who develop their professional activity in this field”.

Teófila Martínez has been one of the speaker at the International Conference that has been developed in Livorno (Italy) under the title “The Port of Women. Women in the maritime and port sector, why not?” , in a colloquium with Zeno D’Agostino, president of the Autorità di Sistema Portuale del Mare Adriatico;    Lamia Kerdjoudj, secetaria genal of FEPORT (Federation of European Private Port Companies); Nicolette Van der Jagt, Director General of CLECAT (European Association for forwarding, logistics and customs service) and Berardina Tommasi, Policy Officer for Stevedores of the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).  Teófila Martínez is also president of the Port Authority of the Bay of Cadiz.

The president of RETE has highlighted the low representation of women in the Spanish port system, where there are only two presidents out of 28.  “The integration of women in the maritime port sector is a job that we have to continue doing.  One of the  keys is to correct the scarce information on the part of the public administration, and the port authorities, so that women know the logistics and port sector and value it as a job opportunity, “he said.

“From our association we believe that ports are a gate to progress, not only for men, but also for women, and the sector should be a known option because it is a great job opportunity,” he added.

From her extensive experience in a  man’s world, especially in  politics, where she was a pioneer along with  other women of her generation, “a coordinated effort must be made to displace  the male tradition in  ports and help women achieve greater representation in the sector, in line with the   the current equality objectives,” he said.

The Association for collaboration between ports and cities, RETE, is one of the entities that has organized this International Conference, promoted and carried out by the Municipality of Livorno, the Research Institute on Innovation and Services for Development (CNR IRISS) and the University of Pisa, with the sponsorship of the Region of Tuscany and the Port System Authority of the North Tyrrhenian Sea.

For two days, the meeting promoted knowledge of the work done by women in the port and maritime field among a wide public, in order to increase the presence of women in ports and in the maritime sector. The aim is to represent port and maritime work as an opportunity for women and future generations.

The conference was created from the desire to contribute to reducing the gender gap in the maritime-port sector to make it increasingly favorable to women, sharing experiences and good practices of several European ports and feeding a constructive debate between stakeholders in the sector, research and institutional representatives.