Celebrating IMO's International Day for Women in Maritime 2023
Women are working in every aspect of the maritime industry supporting to drive the sector forward. However, there is a significant gender imbalance and at Wallem we are fully committed to gender equality and to empower all our colleagues to achieve their career ambitions.
The theme of this year’s IMO's International Day for Women in Maritime 2023, is ‘Mobilising networks for gender equality’. We are proud to showcase some of our female seafarers and how they aspire to inspire the new generation of seafarers.
I was always different as a child and not typically into things young girls were into. Fast forward a few years and I wanted a career that challenged and excited me so after careful consideration I choose life at sea. I started with my career as a Deck Cadet onboard a crude oil tanker that was managed by Wallem nearly 10 years ago and haven’t looked back since.
My father was a Chief Officer and a Dean in the university where I graduated from. He navigated both international and domestic waters. When I was still a child, I used to go with him and sail the seas, these experiences and his stories drew me to pursue this career.
I’m so proud to have excelled and reached this stage in my career given some of the challenges I have faced being a woman at sea. I owe this to God, my family and to my mentors at Wallem, many of whom are now friends. I would not have got this far without them.
Wallem has given the utmost importance to provide equal opportunities to their female seafarers to excel in this male-dominates field. Wallem is not just a company but a family to me as it has created a diverse and inclusive workplace for me to grow into a well-seasoned seafarer. Because of the opportunities they have given me, I am determined to do my part to represent my gender by being a competent seafarer in the Wallem fleet.
I suffered a great bereavement while serving the high seas so in my downtime onboard I make it a priority to talk to my family and join important family occasions online. Therefore, internet access is vital in making and keeping important memories alive. I also create maritime related online content that will be helpful for aspiring seafarers. I hope to motivate those who are afraid to make bold decisions in life because they are a victim of gender stereotypes.
Despite the personal sacrifices of life at sea, I would strongly recommend a life as a seafarer, you can excel in any field as long you put your heart into it.
In my youth, I did not expect to find myself working in a male-dominated industry. A career at sea was not something I had dreamed of. I always envisioned myself working in an office environment and being close to my family. I have always been driven and confident and after hearing from those who worked at sea I was intrigued to see if this career would suit me.
After several years at sea, I can say that I found my sense of belonging! Life at sea is blessed with numerous adventures but also some challenges. One thing that I can say for sure is that I have not been bored for a minute at sea, which I know is not something a lot of people can say about their jobs but as the saying goes “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Wallem welcomed me as a deck cadet in 2018 and continues to go out of its way to attract and work with female seafarers. Throughout my time with Wallem, I have seen the importance and commitment to crew wellbeing and the highest standard of safety they provide in every aspect of the crew life, whether on shore or onboard vessels. These values and actions give me the assurance that Wallem genuinely cares for all its seafarers.
I have always been ambitious, and Wallem supported me in reaching my professional goals by providing opportunities for career advancement. They motivate and challenge my limits because they believe I am capable of more and that I must continue to step out of my comfort zone and allow myself to grow.
My ongoing greatest personal achievement is to support my family financially and showing them how fulfilled I am with my life at sea. While onboard, I miss my family so internet access allows me to speak to my mother and friends frequently to avoid homesickness.
I play games, pamper myself and do cabin chores which I find therapeutic. Recently, I have been trying to explore new things such as going to the gym to stay fit.
As a woman, working onboard is an everyday challenge both physically and mentally but I finally understand why people spend their life in this industry. Being a seafarer has changed my life and it has been a great journey to date and I am thankful to Wallem for giving me the opportunity and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.