Against The Tide

Kaja Svendsen, Norway

March 2, 2022

While working as an Offshore Surveyor no day is ever the same. My work is project based and all clients have different types of projects and specifications. I enjoy the variety! An easy way to describe my job is that I work with positioning both subsea and positioning of vessels/rigs for example rig moves. I also do dimensional controls and prism installations.

I really find myself fortunate to be able to work in a profession that challenges and excites me while giving me the freedom to travel, explore my hobbies and hang out with my friends in my spare time. I’m passionate about my work due to a lot of different factors, the main one must be that it never gets boring – it thrills me being part of big marine operations. Within the field of offshore surveying there are endless lessons to be learned and subjects to immerse oneself in. Most of all I enjoy the diversity!

I am lucky enough to grow up in a country where equality has come a long way, and in general I don’t find that I’m harassed or being treated differently due to my gender. I often find that being a woman in a male dominated industry is empowering. People see that I am passionate about my work despite the challenges that I’m facing, therefore I find myself respected and treated fairly. Of course these situations have occurred over the span of my professional career, I find I get a little stronger and more confident every time. Since figuring this out, negative words and attention are empty threats without weight.

I think it’s important that women feel comfortable while working offshore. It’s hard to change a whole industry overnight. Small steps such as PPE in correct sizes, female changing rooms, female hygiene products in bonded stores and so on would make a big difference. It’s important to feel welcome. Often none of the facilities onboard are arranged for women.

My advice to other seafarers is to be confident and true to yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough or that you can’t do it.

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