I am currently a deck mate and I have been in this profession for the last 3 years. My job responsibilities include: paper work, inventories of tools, paintings, cleaning tools, food having a control of what we have on board and what is consumed, maintenance on deck, safety and ff equipment, be in Charge of operation of the ship which is fill it with Cars and leave no space, and of course the safe navigation.
What I love most about my job so far is the fact that I get to meet new people and learn new things every day.
My current challenge as a new female seafarer is that it is common to hear that I AM not enough and that I don’t have what it takes, but I just block out the negative comments and keep it professional and respectful. I remember why I am on board, what my duties and responsibilities are and know that I will continue to get better than I was. Each day I know I am doing better than yesterday.
One thing I would advocate for female seafarers is for them to have higher positions and be given the same opportunities as men by effort and hard work. It shows female seafarers starting out that we can also be better and get to those high positions too.
My advice would be: don’t give up, learn as much as you can, and be patient, TONS of patience is necessary when starting out in this career.
Laura Alexandra Valle Camarena, Mexico