She’s making waves – Celebrating women in ocean advocacy, science and the blue economy

Event date: 07 June 2023, 13:00 - 14:00
Two ocean researchers

In celebration of World Ocean Day, the Commonwealth Blue Charter, in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, will be spotlighting women in ocean sciences, from a policy, education, and community perspective.

Watch the event recording

This virtual Commonwealth event marks World Ocean Day under the themes "She’s making waves” and “Planet Ocean: Tides are changing".  Ocean scientists, advocates and stakeholders from across the Commonwealth will share stories and initiatives of women working to conserve and revitalise our ocean.

In ocean science, women make up 37% of the workforce and almost 39% of oceanographic researchers. While this represents some progress, we must continue to advance the work towards reaching full gender parity.

The webinar, which includes a panel discussion, takes place on 7 June, ahead of  World Oceans Day on 8 June, and builds on our 2023 International Women’s Day social media campaign, which invited women to visit local beaches and waterways and share their reflections on ocean action.


13:00 – 13:05

Introduction and housekeeping

13:05 – 13:10

Welcome and opening remarks by the Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth

13:10 – 13:15

Special address by H.E Hon. Titilupe Fanetupouvava’u Tu’ivakano, High Commissioner of Tonga

13:15 – 13:20

Short film screening – Celebrating the achievement of Commonwealth women in ocean action

13:20 – 14:00

Fireside chat with speakers – “From mermaids to science to safety”, including Q&A with audience

  • Zandile Ndhlovu  Ocean conservationist, The Black Mermaid Foundation
  • Dr Juli-Anne Royes Russo  Aquaculture scientist, Founder/CEO of the Caribbean Aquaculture Education and Innovation Hub (CAEIH) and Women in Caribbean Aquaculture (WiCA)
  • Oliver Steeds, OBE  Chief Executive and Mission Director, Nekton
  • Louise Sanger  Head of Research, Interpretation & Engagement, Lloyd’s Register Foundation Heritage & Education Centre

Moderated by Josephine Latu-Sanft, Senior Communications Officer, Commonwealth Secretariat

14:00 – 14:05

Message from Commonwealth Blue Charter Gender Coordinator

14:05 – 14:15

Concluding remarks by Josephine Latu-Sanft, Senior Communications Officer, Commonwealth Secretariat (Moderator)

Speaker bios

Find out more about our featured speakers


For more information, email the Commonwealth Blue Charter team