I’ve faced many challenges because of my gender in the past 6 years. The first and worst one was during my first time onboard. None of my colleagues had ever worked with a female officer and most of them ignored me and constantly told me “you should stay on the bridge if you want to be a seafarer, the engine room is too hard for you “. Other colleagues told me “you should stay home taking care of your house, thinking about the babies” and so on. However; I never gave up despite this discrimination!
I think that all the female seafarers are doing very well so but I would advocate for companies to have more females on board not because they are women but because we are seafarers and we can do everything that our male colleagues can do. Maybe even better than them!
The main key to success as a female seafarer is to believe in yourself and be ready to face any possible challenge. Love what you do and you will achieve all your goals! Don’t care about the negative things said about you, your career is one of the most precious things you can have and you need to take care of every day!
Irene is currently a Third Engineer.