I am currently a deck cadet and have been working in this industry for the past year and 10 months. I am pretty new to the industry. My current job responsibilities are safe navigation of the ship. This means safety of the ship and crew. As a deck cadet, I really love my job. Deck work makes me a tough lady and bridge work makes me smart. There is a lot of work I have to go through in a day and everyday I learn something new. I start my day with lookout and end up with paperwork. Everyday is a new challenge and that is what I love most about my current role.
Being a female seafarer I have faced some challenges, the maritime industry is a male dominated field. Some people will support you ,some will demotivate you. I have experienced criticism in this field once. One of my batchmates was like “why is she here ?” This is for boys”. But I did my best during pre sea training and passed out with good marks. Faculty and instructors appreciated me for my hard work and dedication.
One thing I’d advocate for female seafarers is for new policies around maternity leave for women. If a lady is pregnant, she should be able to take leaves during pregnancy, when she needs it and after giving birth to a baby she can spend one year with her baby later she can join the company on the same designation.
My advice to other female seafarers is don’t expect any special treatment because you’re a woman, being a woman comes with various challenges in this industry so focus on your work and prove to all the people who may be doubtful that you are great at what you do.
Priyanka Verma, India