As a Steward, my responsibilities involve contributing to the vessels general appearance and condition, serving meals, maintaining cleanliness at dining areas and kitchen, substituting the chief cook when he is busy at other tasks and making desserts.
I enjoy cooking everyday as much as I love food. I learn a lot of things everyday through my chief cook. He guides me for my promotion later on, and as much as there are many challenges it makes me stronger and braver.
Some believe that females are weak and I had to prove myself time and time again that I am capable and worthy of this career I chose. Some also think that women are gullible. I am here to work, not to doll up and be merely cute. I am tough as anyone can be. I have work ethics. Sometimes its hard and I wish they would see me as a person and not as female first.
If I were to highlight and advocate for changes for female seafarers it would be for the mandatory inclusion of training to address issues and potential actions to ensure that diversity is valued in the workplace. Training should involve clear definition of harassment and bullying and how it should be handled appropriately with emphasis on gender sentizization.
Do not be afraid to ask for help. At first things will always be hard, but we must always stand tall. Everyday is a learning process.