Rewards for more than a million SEK were celebrated

05 May 2021

The pandemic stopped The Swedish Mercantile Marine Foundation’s
reward ceronomy last year. Therefore, there was a double celebration online this year. A total of 72 rewards were awarded to a value of just over SEK 1 million for the years 2020 and 2021.

In the last year, nothing has been as usual. Death, illness, anxiety, bankruptcy, unemployment and social isolation have affected many people, the former EU Minister Cecilia Malmström stated when she, as a guest of honor, made the first speech of the day.

“Despite that, we have had food and supplies in the shops. Hundreds of thousands of sailors have ensured that global trade has worked; that we have received our goods, that the factories have received their components and that the value and supply chains have been able to flow. 80 percent of all goods are transported by sea. That is eleven million tonnes of goods a year.”

While shipping is the hub of global trade, many sailors have been hit hard during the pandemic.

“Hundreds of thousands have suffered. Many have been stranded on their ships. Many have been separated from their families for a long time. 200,000 sailors are still waiting to come home. Many have not been paid, shipping companies have gone bankrupt and the employment law situation is unclear. This issue has not received attention, it has not been the subject of various types of action packages and needs to start being discussed.”

That is why Cecilia Malmström also thinks that the reward day is more important than ever.

Now it is extra important to pay attention to and reward people and organizations that have made innovative and important contributions in shipping. It is therefore a great honor to congratulate everyone who receives rewards today.”

For the years 2020 and 2021, 61 work rewards were awarded for ideas and initiatives that improved working conditions and leisure time at sea. In addition, sports, sea rescue and honorary awards as well as literature prizes. When the one-and-a-half-hour reward day was over, a total of 72 prizes had been awarded to a value of just over one million kronor.

One of those who was noticed and who was also interviewed online was the lawyer and shipping profile Lena Göthberg. Last year, she was awarded the foundation's honorary award, partly because she is the maker of the world's largest podcasts on shipping.

- I was annoyed that so many did not know about shipping. So how do you reach out, especially to young people? Well, through podcasts. And since I had worked so with social media, I realized that it was not that difficult to start a pod.

To reach as far out into the world as possible, she broadcast her interviews with shipping profiles in English. When she started in 2015, she set the goal that half of her guests would eventually be women. She's got there now.

“It is about making a decision and, just like with all other gender equality work, start to work and measure. I also have the advantage of being a member of WISTA international (Women's International Shipping & Trading Association) and have a fantastic network of contacts with women who work in the shipping industry.”

Last year, WISTA International was granted observer status within the IMO, the international maritime organization that had "empowering women" as its theme for the 2019 maritime year.

“I think it made women more visible in the industry. Suddenly, they had the opportunity to take a step forward and show that "here I am and I am also involved in working in the shipping industry". I was at the World Maritime University's conference and I thought it was so cool. Only women, from all over the world, working in the shipping industry gathered and discussed various issues”, said Lena Göthberg, the first woman ever to receive an honorary award from The Swedish Mercantile Marine Foundation.Related content: 


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