Against The Tide

Eileen Lonergan , Germany.

July 25, 2020

As a ship mechanic I work on deck as well as in the engine room. When arriving or departing at ports I usually support the deck crew on the mooring station or prepare the main engine for service. During daily work in the engine room I support the crew and engineers. Sometimes I work on the bridge as lookout or go for steering during canal passages.

Mostly I enjoy the broadness of my education. Understanding the whole working process of the ship and seeing how every single crewmember is conducive to the running of the vessel encourages me every day to keep learning. The hardest thing for me was to adjust my body to the amount of daily work and always changing climate conditions.

I think every woman that works in the shipping industry had to face some challenges because of gender. What I have to face often is incomprehension. My colleagues just can’t understand why I want to work on the vessels. From my experience, I would say that it’s harder for women to be accepted on board, but I always told myself to stay confident and just do my job as good as possible. This field is a long journey and I don’t have a sure formula to fasten this process. But I think it’s important to encourage young women and even girls before they even start their careers. I think the more women we are in the shipping industry the more we will be accepted.

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