My current job role is educating deck license students on various topics covered within the Marine Transportation major. My favourite part of my job currently is watching the lights go on for the students as they begin to make the connections they need with the material.
During my time actively sailing in my career as a Deck Officer on cargo vessels, thankfully I didn’t have any truly harrowing experiences. However I did have to deal with the consistent negative chatter that is directed towards women in today’s society.
That diversity in the genders is not the only initiative that companies should be taking on. That women seafarers should be included in all conversations and decisions that are relative to the advancement of this industry. As well as it is noted the equity that is needed to even the playing field between genders. Not all of us grew up with the family boat or knew about the industry our whole lives. Some women are actually first generation mariners and experience a huge learning curve like myself, but guess what I did it!
My advice is to gain as much knowledge as you can, and become an expert. Nothing is off limits to you, ask all of the questions even the ones you think are stupid. Use your voice, do not let anyone mute you. You have every right to speak up for yourself as well as for those who can’t at the moment for whatever reason. Do not be afraid to have uncomfortable conversations. Remember you put your pants on the same way everyone else does one leg at a time. Be true to yourself, we only get one body so take care of it. Rest when you need to rest, you are not of value when you’re exhausted and fatigued. Most of all it is okay to operate in your feminine energy. This is a gift as a woman that can take you so far sometimes.
Raina Barnes, USA