Diversity and diversification were on Angeliki Frangou’s mind as she took to the stage at the TradeWinds Shipowners Forum on Tuesday.

The Navios chief executive spoke passionately about tapping the full global talent pool and why taking a mixed-fleet model to the capital markets would provide the best returns.

In a question and answer session with TradeWinds editor-in-chief Julian Bray, Frangou was asked about her views on equality given her position as an iconic female leader in shipping.

“I don’t know if I’m iconic but I definitely have white hair,” she joked at the event taking place at Posidonia.

“This is not about women and men. The most important is for all the young people, I tell them one thing: Chase your passion, go to a job where you love it and you are respected.”

Frangou said she could never understand why any respected company would be biased against women.

“I want the talent and I want to have the full talent. I don’t care if it’s a woman, a man, any nationality,” she said.

“That is irrelevant. It’s about the person chasing their passion and also educating, helping these people go to the next level. It is to the advantage of the organisation.”

Frangou has this week been celebrating the 70th anniversary of Navios, a group she beat George Economou to control about 20 years ago.

Today, Navios Maritime Partners is one of the few public shipping companies listed in the US with a diversified fleet across different shipping markets.

Frangou joked that choosing between the different markets was like picking a favourite child and quipped the word conglomerate has a bad connotation.

“We are a diversified company which basically provides the best results,” she said.

“We are looking to take to the public sphere something that for a very long time has been in the private sphere, to be a diversified company. Why? Because it provides superior results.”

Frangou said being diversified allowed shipowners to be more patient.

“The market will come your way, you do not have to always make that decision in that market,” she said.

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