Against The Tide

Gabriela Barragan, USA

November 5, 2021

My day to day responsibilities vary. As a Stewardess my duties entail rotating between service, laundry and housekeeping. It’s very busy as well as fun. Every day is different. I enjoy planning events, dinners and theme parties for my guests. When I work as a deckhand, my days consist of maintaining the exterior of the yacht. I dry the boat every morning, polish stainless steel, unload all the water toys and make sure the deck looks presentable. Both of my positions entail a lot of attention to detail, and 7 star service. Being responsible for guest safety has the utmost importance in every department. My favorite part about working on yachts are the crossings! I love being at sea, I love learning about navigation, radar, and true seafaring skills. What I enjoy the most about yachting is living at sea, living and working with people from all around the world, and traveling to the coolest destinations!

I have faced some challenges being a female deckhand. Although I am great at both positions, I find that people are more likely to hire me as a stewardess over a deckhand. I feel that there are still some gender roles at play, that the women cook and clean and the men work outside and get their hands dirty. There are a lot of female Captains, Engineers, and First Mates that are currently paving the way for us and it’s very encouraging.

I am overcoming these obstacles by focusing on getting more certifications and taking more courses. I always do my best, ask questions, study on my own, and do my research to help me find the correct route. I reach out to other women that work on deck, women run organizations of seafarers that can offer mentoring and guidance, and I make sure to always try and be better.

I am an advocate for more female seafarers in leadership positions on larger vessels. Representation is important in any industry and it’s important for some more outreach programs to expose more potential female seafarers to the Maritime Industry.

If I could offer any advice, it would be to do your research, find a mentorship program or a mentor, and do not settle!

Gabriela Barragan, USA 

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