In 1974, a handful of women brokers in the UK tanker market got together for a Christmas lunch in London and decided to form the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association, a networking organization for women in the male-dominated maritime industry.  Over the years, contacts from overseas were invited to join the meeting and the group expanded across Europe to include women from many other sectors of the industry.

WISTA USA was formed in 1997 and first hosted an International Conference the following year in New York.  Ten years later, in 2008, we hosted our second International Conference in New Orleans.  WISTA USA made the bold move in 2016 when we hosted our third International Conference at sea onboard Holland America's newest cruise ship, the MS Koningsdam. WISTA USA currently has over 550 members (and counting!) from 27 states.