I enjoy the opportunities my job gives me to meet people and visit places all around the world. Being able to work with many cultures and nationalities and learn. I also enjoy the responsibility to be a part of keeping the ship safe. All of this feels very rewarding. The challenges I have faced have been missing home, family and friends for long periods of time. This also is more difficult when struggling to learn new things, but as my cadetship has come to an end I’m feeling much more confident with this. I have experienced some challenges relating to this. Mild harassment and inappropriate comments from crew have been common throughout my time onboard. Sometimes this makes it hard to work equally and learn and to enjoy social events However when issues have occurred; I have had good support from others when needed.
I think positive changes are being made in the maritime industry but will take time to complete. I think the best way to help is to give talks to both crew on ships and in maritime colleges, to all genders equally. In these talks highlight the problems reported and the statistics and facts and give knowledge to people how this behavior is not acceptable.
My advice to the upcoming female seafarers be part of a community so that you can share advice and tips and support each other. Many women will have been through challenges, and their advice on what they would have done differently if they had known can be incredibly beneficial.
Brittany is currently a Deck Cadet.