Women in Maritime
The Shipping Agenda and the Mechanisms for Change

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
8:00 AM EDT | 1:00 PM BST | 8:00 PM HKT
Executives from




Women in Maritime: it’s been a permanent fixture on the shipping agenda for a few years but have there been genuine improvements on gender equality? How are these changes measured and what does success look like? This panel discussion will evaluate effective mechanisms for change, the value of quotas and whether virtual ways of working as a result of COVID-19 has opened more opportunity for women working in the marine and offshore industry.


Nicola Good
Head of Brand and External Relations for Marine and Offshore, Lloyd’s Register

Nicola Good is the Head of Brand and External Relations for Marine and Offshore at Lloyd’s Register and has worked in the maritime industry for more than two decades. Until November 2018, she was journalism director at IHS Markit, a leading global provider of maritime data, analysis and consulting and the executive editor of Fairplay. Prior to joining IHSM, Nicola was a long standing member of the Lloyd’s List editorial team and responsible for a number of flagship product launches and was the custodian of the Top 100 listing. She was named Seahorse International Editor of the Year in 2016.


Christa Volpicelli
Managing Director, Global Transportation Group, Citi

Christa is a Managing Director in Citigroup’s Global Transportation Group, where she leads the firm’s U.S. shipping investment banking practice. She focuses on providing M&A, capital raising and financial advisory services across all of the maritime areas, including the tanker, LNG, containership leasing, dry bulk, container leasing, and port / terminal sectors. She has structured and led initial public offerings and subsequent equity offerings for many of the shipping companies presently listed in the U.S., and has served as structuring agent for the majority of the maritime Master Limited Partnerships.

Christa additionally has worked on numerous buyside advisory engagements for various shipping clients on a confidential basis as well as been active with companies exploring public debt alternatives. Additionally, she has worked with a spectrum of industrial clients, including extensive work for Ford Motor Company where she was involved in the sale of Volvo and the sale of Hertz.

Christa received her M.B.A from the University of Michigan Business School, graduating with High Distinction. She has a B.A. in Mathematics, Summa Cum Laude, from the Ohio State University. Previously, she worked in finance for Visteon Corporation and Ford Motor Company.

Lois K. Zabrocky
President & Chief Executive Officer, International Seaways

Lois K. Zabrocky is the President and Chief Executive Officer of International Seaways, one of the largest tanker companies worldwide. The Company owns and operates a fleet of 53 vessels including 14 VLCCs, 2 Suezmaxes, 7 Aframaxes/LR2s, 12 Panamaxes/LR1s and 12 MR tankers. Through joint ventures, it has ownership interests in 4 LNG carriers and 2 Floating Storage and Offloading Service vessels. Before assuming leadership for International Seaways, Lois served as Senior Vice President for OSG'S International Flag strategic business unit, with responsibility for commercial management and oversight of fleet operations. Previously she was Chief Commercial Officer, with responsibility for OSG's international flag crude, products and gas businesses.

Ms. Zabrocky began her maritime career sailing as third mate aboard a U.S. flag chemical tanker. Ms. Zabrocky holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and holds a Third Mate's license.

Cecilia Österman, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Maritime Science, Linnaeus University

Dr Cecilia Österman is a researcher at Kalmar Maritime academy, Linnaeus University in Sweden. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering, a master’s in safety engineering, and a PhD in shipping and marine technology from Chalmers University of Technology. Her research focuses on seafarers’ workplace environment and working conditions, and how technical and organizational systems can be designed to fit a diverse and gender equal workforce in a safe and sustainable shipping industry.

Cecilia began her maritime career in 1990 and worked as an engine officer for 12 years in the Swedish merchant navy. Additionally, she has worked as a safety engineer at a naval shipyard, and as an inspector at the Swedish Work Environment Authority. She is vice president of WISTA Sweden and a member of the WISTA International HR and Diversity committees.

Caroline Yang
CEO, Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd; President, Singapore Shipping Association

Ms Yang started her career with Hong Lam Marine and was in-house counsel from 1991 to 2002. She has more than 25 years’ experience in the shipping industry. In addition to her role as Chief Executive, she directly oversees the Legal and Human Resources functions. Ms Yang graduated with Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from University of London and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from National University of Singapore in 1990. She passed Bar Exams of England and Wales in 1991 and called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1992. She subsequently passed Bar Exams of Singapore in 1992 and called to the Bar of Singapore in 1995. She is a member of the Singapore Academy of Law. She is also council member and President of the Singapore Shipping Association.

Dora Mace - Kokota
Partner, Stephenson Harwood

Dora is a partner at international law firm Stephenson Harwood. She is an asset finance specialist with a particular focus on the shipping sector. Dora regularly advises on high profile international financing and restructuring matters including ECA-backed finance transactions, sale and purchase, leasing, joint ventures, shipbuilding contracts, ship registration matters and secondary trade transactions.

She acts for a broad range of international banks and other financial institutions, including export credit agencies as well as major ship owners and shipyards in relation to all types of vessels (LNGs, cargo vessels, containers, chemical tankers, VLCCs, yachts and cruise ships). She has particular experience in Europe and Asia.

Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou
co-CEO, Tototheo Maritime; President, WISTA International

Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou is joint Chief Executive Officer of TOTOTHEO MARITIME, a leading global supplier of equipment and services for maritime satellite and radio communications as well as bridge navigation systems, automated applications, ship repairs and operational efficiency solutions. She has been with the group since 2005. Since 2013, Despina is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber and is chairing the Chamber's Development Committee since 2015. Despina is President of Women's International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA), since October 2017, having previously served as the Secretary of the organization from 2015 to 2017. She has been instrumental to WISTA's success in receiving consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in July 2018. WISTA is an organization for women in management positions in the maritime sector and currently there are 45 WISTA National Associations with over 3000 individual members. Despina founded WISTA Cyprus - a member of WISTA International - and was the Association's President for 7 years (2011-2018).

She also sits on the first Board of Governors of the Cyprus Maritime Academy, on the Board of Directors of the Cyprus-Germany Business Association, and on the Strategic Committee of Crans Montana - Club of Ports. In December 2017 leading international shipping publication Lloyd's List selected Despina as one of the Top 100 Most Influential people in shipping internationally. This publication is one of the main highlights of the maritime year, with its insights into the personalities and trends in the industry. Despina has entered this venerable list for the first time and attained a further credit as one of Lloyd's List's Top 5 Next Generation executive.

She won the titles of "Top Professional" and "Cyprus Business Woman of the Year" at the 9th National Cyprus Business Woman of the Year Awards 2015. She has been awarded by the global Women Economic Forum in New Delhi as the "Woman of the Decade in Innovation and Leadership" (May 2017) and named as one of the "10 Women to Watch" by Youngship International during Norshipping 2017. She was also proclaimed as an Honorary Fellow of the Cyprus Institute of Marketing (April 2017).

Despina holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the National and Capodistrian University of Athens, an Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics from the Copenhagen Business School and a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Strategy from the University of Oxford - Said Business School. She is currently participating in the MSc in Major Programme Management at the University of Oxford - Said Business School.


The webinar will consist of a 40-minute expert discussion, which will be followed by a Q&A lasting for 15 minutes. This webinar will be archived and available for replay upon registration.

Q&A SESSION - Submitting Questions

Participants can submit questions to the panelists prior to or during the event through the special feature on the event page, or they can email them to us at questions@capitallink.com

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