Tuesday 18 March 2008

Women in maritime jobs still exceptional

It shouldn’t be the case but it is. Women in – some categories of – sea work are rare beings. And it’s great when they get jobs that utilise their abilities. In a Lloyd’s List article, ‘Ability matters, not gender’ about the appointment of the new – and first female - president of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, Elisabeth Grieg [above].
Journalist Michelle Wiese Bockmann argues that Grieg’s gender shouldn’t be remarked upon – her achievements are the point. [6 March 2008] Yes, but….It’s still a remarkable breakthrough, though it shouldn’t be. And it deserves celebration as well as comment: ‘How come, chaps, that it’s taken you so long to get to this point?’
Better still, Bockman’s article brought in some useful stories of other unique women on the seas. Ecomments included a reference to Mrs Sumati Morarjee, who was President of Indian Shipowners Association years ago. Captain Doctor Ivica Tijardovic, wrote that ‘RCCLhas its first female captain…There was a female captain on a small casino boat which used to sail from Port Canaveral - In Norfolk eight years ago I met an apprentice pilot female - In the Caribbean a few years ago I met female second officer from Canada on a containership - On a Polar Tankers vessel, the second and the third mate were both female’