10 women on the Lloyd's List 100 most influential people in the shipping industry

WISTA International President Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, no 96 

(text from Hellen Kelly, Lloyd's List, published Dec 14)

A successful businesswoman, she is joint chief executive of Tototheo Maritime, a technology and satellite communications business based in Cyprus. She is also a board member of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, and chair of its development committee. But it is her ascendance to the head of the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (Wista) that has sealed her spot in the Top 100.

The networking group has come of age in recent years, maturing from a disparate set of local and regional associations into a targeted global presence, which is growing in clout. Ms Theodosiou was identified early on as WISTA leadership potential. She was a founder president of WISTA Cyprus in 2011 and helped organise the WISTA 2016 International Conference in Cyprus. She quickly grew through the WISTA ranks as secretary of its executive committee (2015- 2017) and was named president at its annual event in Rotterdam, in September 2017.

Ms Theodosiou told Lloyd's List that a key focus of her presidency will be to strengthen the diversity and inclusion already evident within WISTA International's 3,000 members. To that end she has a hectic travel schedule planned visiting its regional offices. Other campaigns include closing the gender pay gap in shipping and tackling workplace harassment, at sea and onshore.

Ms Theodosiou is an advocate to the European Union’s initiative for equal pay for men and women and speaks at conferences and events all around the world. She has received a number of industry plaudits, including Women of the Decade in Innovation and Leadership Award of the Annual Women Economic Forum, New Delhi, 2017 and Top Professional and Cyprus Business Woman of the Year 2015 at the 9th National Cyprus Business Woman of the Year Awards 2015. Ms Theodosiou was included in the 10 Women to Watch in the shipping industry at NorShipping 2017. Compiled by Nor-Shipping and YoungShip International, the list includes 10 women under 40 years old who have shown commitment to the industry and its development. 

Known as a problem-solver with a sharp mind, Ms Theodosiou has also been described as “not a typical Greek – she is not loud”. Others said they respected her quiet, consistent style, ability to articulate issues and the complete faith with which the tenured WISTA members supported her. With her professionalism, warmth and energy Ms Theodosiou’s leadership is tipped to further WISTA’s international growth and success.
This is Ms Theodosiou's first appearance in the Top 100.

Link to 100 most influential people in the shipping industry