You do hear some horror stories about being a woman in a male-dominated environment. However, luckily, I can honestly say I haven’t experienced any form of major discrimination. The only thing I have felt I had to prove was my physical strength when working on the deck. If the ABs perceived a job to require physical strength that they didn’t think I was capable they would offer to do it themselves, however, I would just decline and try myself. They soon realised I was stronger than I looked. Personally, working in this environment gives me the opportunity to prove that I am as capable as anyone else when doing the same job. It pushes me to work harder and is an incentive to prove these people wrong.
I feel that there needs to be more publicity of women in the technical roles, whether it be deck or engine. Captain Kate McCue is a great role model for many young girls wanted to have a career that is fulfilling and challenging, and by having more of these role models, I feel that more women would feel more comfortable pursuing a career in the Merchant Navy. There are times at sea that can be hard but there are also some pretty incredible times too. You have to realise that there can be negative aspects to the life at sea, especially as a female; but don’t let it get to you, use the negatives to build and become the best person you can be. I am just one of many women proving that females can be officers, and good ones at that. This is a fantastic career path with lots of opportunities to travel, to earn, and to grow as a person.
I’m from a small county called Rutland in the United Kingdom, however, I’m currently studying Navigation and Maritime Science BSc (Hons) at the University of Plymouth in Devon. My passion for travelling and sailing started at a young age, and it seemed a sensible option for me to try and combine the two in order to get my dream job. Having listened to the stories my father had to tell about his experiences in the Merchant Navy, the seed was sown and I knew this could be the career for me. I started at Plymouth University on a MCA Accredited route in 2014 and in September 2017 I returned to finish my degree, after taking 16 months out to complete my sea time onboard my sponsoring companies cruise ships.
I hope to qualify as a Deck Officer in the summer before returning to my cruise company to work as a 3rdOfficer.