A Woman Seafarer Describes The Challenges She Faces On Board Ships

Today there is no field where the women have not shown their worth. Women have shouldered all kind of responsibilities with grand success. The entry of women into the seafaring trade is a small but a growing phenomenon.

As seafaring is conventionally a man’s world, many women fear to take it up as profession. However, I believe fear is nothing but only a product of our imagination. If you believe in yourself and if you have a strong determination, trust me, nothing is unachievable.

To be honest seafaring is an arduous task. One needs to be prepared mentally, physically and emotionally before choosing this as a profession. It requires strength and courage, however with a positive attitude and approach you are good to go.

Working on-board ship is fun and challenging for me at the same time. Everyday has been a learning day. I learn while I work. Each day comes with a new hope, a new beginning, a new lesson and new bunch of challenges. There is never an end to learning new things. It is enjoyable.

As every profession has its own set of challenges, so does the maritime industry. Being an overwhelmingly male dominated industry over the years, it presents some unique and unusual challenges, especially for the women seafarers. Here, I would like to highlight some of the challenges every women seafarer are expected to face on-board ships. I wish this article will encourage other young women to take on the same challenges as I did and make a promising career in days to come, eventually increasing the percentage of women seafarers in the industry.

women at sea
Copyrights Marine Insight/ Paromita M

Problem Of Acceptance

The first and foremost challenge that I faced on-board my first ship was of acceptance. Being accepted in the entire group of men and considering you as one of them may often seem to be time taking. As the environment is strictly male dominated, women at sea may feel left out or ignored. The only solution to it I found is to work together and earn their respect. Take initiative. There are times when I was questioned on my capabilities. Often women are pushed harder to prove their worth. Be strong and show active participation in everything you do. The maritime world is the place where different cultures, people and religion mix. People learn to live together with their differences and in mutual respect.

women at sea
Copyrights Marine Insight/ Paromita M

Fighting Loneliness

Like for any seafarer, my initial days on ship were hard to pass. Days were gloomy and I was surrounded by loneliness. Being the only women on-board I had no one to share my feelings and thoughts. Isolation can often take its toll on you. Loneliness and homesickness are some of the problems you may face. The only way I could cope up with this situation is by keeping myself engaged. I would pen down my thoughts in a personal diary and would engage in hobbies. Do artwork or sing songs, read some good books and watch movies. I would always carry some inspirational books with me on board ships. I would also load my laptop’s hard drive with some motivational movies. If there was internet on-board, it would help me to stay connected with friends and family, which would always help. I often spent my time studying and preparing for competency exams. I gave time to myself. There were several evenings I spent gazing at the endless horizon, the sun sets, watching the radiant sky and the untold beauties of nature. I soon realised life on board is so beautiful.

Dealing With Prejudice and Stereotyping People

The first time I stepped on-board ship almost every officer and crew member asked me the same question- What am I doing here and why did I choose Merchant Navy as my career. Every time I came across a new face in this industry, the initial topic of our conversation would begin with the same questions. It was very discouraging and disconcerting. Most seamen are stereotypes (No offence to anyone) and have a common belief that women have no business on board ship. It is solely their world and they are the only rulers. Some even advised me to quit my career and look for jobs ashore. They considered household work as the sole responsibility of women. They always highlighted the negative aspects of shipping as a career and often tried to make me realise that I am too weak and incompetent to do a man’s job. But I strongly believed that that the universe favours the brave. Willpower is the essential virtue of a fully actualised life. I waged war against the weaker thoughts that crept into my mind, strengthened myself ceaselessly and worked meticulously to prove myself and win their trust. It was not too late that my seniors started to rely upon me and gave me equal importance and respect.

women at sea
Copyrights Marine Insight/ Paromita M

Lack of Basics For Women Seafarers

I have noticed that the ship’s culture is a reflection of masculine norms and values. On my first day of work I was quite surprised to find that neither the uniform nor any of the working overalls matched my size. I had to manage myself anyhow in baggy boiler suits and oversized boots. Everyone on board took it for granted that they will never have a women working onboard along with them. Finally I had to personally request my senior officers to provide me with shoes and overalls of my size. In addition to it though I could reach most of the spaces on board, at times I also experienced some physical shocks owning to the design of space which reflects an assumption that the environment of ship is male territory.

Facing Narrow-mindedness

All men think and react differently. On-board if you have a good relationship with a particular male colleague, it can foment jealousy and also lead to  favouritism. It can result in loss of unity and ignorance. I was subjected to bilious remarks by many crew members; some of them even stopped interacting with me and deserted me at work. I have learnt that it is better to mix and mingle with all equally than to give space and importance to anyone in particular. It is better not to be too close or over friendly to avoid bullying by others on board.

women at sea
Copyrights Marine Insight/ Paromita M

Adapting To Mental and Physical Stress

I have worked only on container vessels so far. Containerships generally experience frequent port calls. On an average we visit a port every second day. The sailing time is too short. My sleep was disturbed by erratic and arrhythmic working hours and duty calls. After completing 8 hours of shift I practically got no time to rest and was called on bridge during pilotage. It seemed annoying and beyond my endurance power. It was mentally exhausting as well. Shipboard life is not as easy as it seems to be. Being a woman I was never given any preference to rest more or work less even though it was toilsome (neither I asked for it as I wanted to be accepted as “equal”). In fact I worked harder and sometimes more than my male counterparts to prove my competency as an officer.

Proving My Competency

In my initial days of training I was also sent on deck to tighten the lashing gear on the containers to keep them safe in rough seas offshore. Because of their heavy weight I found it too hard to handle them. Adding to that, working under the scorching sun totally enervated me. My fellow mates were so versatile and they could do it even single handed. They often looked at me with askance questioning my competency. I had to come out of my comfort zone and worked hard to prove my worth. Though it was difficult in the beginning I carried on assiduously and my confidence began to burgeon. As I worked harder, I gained physical strength. My message to all women seafarers is don’t ever give up and think you are less competent to anyone. With persistent and diligent efforts you can make the impossible possible.

women at sea
Copyrights Marine Insight/ Paromita M

Gathering Courage To Do Difficult Tasks

Working with the cranes was another big hurdle for me. I was quite reluctant to climb up the lashing bridge to secure the cranes with wire. The enormous height scared me. Also no one encouraged me to go up as they thought it was not my cup of tea. I resolved to do it one day and gathered enough courage to climb all the way up and reach the top of the crane. I could feel the strong winds blustering all over me. That day I realised the only limits in our lives are those that we set ourselves. We should dare to get out of our circle of comfort and explore the unknown. Of course safety is of utmost priority and should never be compromised.

Also, we all know mooring is an extremely critical operation. One of the biggest challenges that I faced was handling the heavy mooring ropes. It is also very laborious and difficult. Transferring the lines from the storage drum to the tension drum demands skills and practice. With time I learnt the correct handling of mooring ropes. My fellow crew members were also kind enough to help me in this regard. Now that I have learnt the skills of safe mooring practices I supervise the whole operation and also control the winches.

I completely agree that the life of a seafarer is not bed of roses. It is challenging, mentally and physically. Women seafarers face many difficulties and hardships. But, trust yourself and have the courage to face your fears. Create the kind of life you will be happy to live with all your life. If you will have an unconquerable will to win, victory will never be denied. Enjoy the joys of your job. Every job has its positive and negative aspects. It is the positive ones we must reflect upon.

I wish every woman seafarer excel and integrate themselves into the workforce and bring wellness and success to the shipping industry.

Disclaimer: The views mentioned above are of the author only. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

The article or images cannot be reproduced, copied, shared or used in any form without the permission of the author and Marine Insight. 

46 Comments

  1. Dear miss Mukherjee,

    I think it’s more a matter of common sense not to make a choice for a seafaring profession.
    A continuation of a career could’t be not possible when raising a family.
    Furthermore nothing else should be a handicap. I have the experience with women on board
    as a retired captain and never met any problems whatsoever.

    I wish you all the best.

    Best regards.
    Henk Kort.

  2. Aim to be a better officer than the officers you had when you were a cadet.
    Bigger and better things await. Work hard and you will get to the top.
    I wish you the very best for your exams and for the future.

  3. I believe that only women are not responsible for raising a family. Men are equally responsible. I am thankful that my parents have supported me and not taken me as an object to just raise a family. The decision of choosing this profession is entirely mines and I am happy about it. And as my article says the universe favours the brave. This article is just to encourage young women so that they are prepared for any hardships onboard.

  4. Nice article.But in the present situation getting a job onboard the ship is difficult.That too for the girl cadets, if they fail to get a job.It will make their life difficult.

  5. Dear Paromita
    First of all I would like to thank you for writing your experience as well as the encouraging and motivational lines for others.
    Never ever give up. It’s nicely said by someone that ” never take rest until good become better and better becomes best”. As I know you from last 7yrs I can guaranty that u will achieve everything you wish to. Every seafarer needs strong determination and will power as yours. Your thoughts are inspirational for other lady seafarers…
    I wish you all the success in your life…stay blessed.
    Thanks
    Abhishek

  6. Hi dear, I’m also a newly graduate at Papua New Guinea Maritime college but with the lack of employment opportunity i’m still struggeling to proceed my carrier on board ship.

    But all I want to say after going through you article is that “May God bless you and all the best in your exm”.

  7. Mam I m preksha I also want to join Marchant navy only just clear my 1 dought tha girls are safe or not on ship means If they are ships than there seniour officers n other officers are forcing or not physically or not plz clear my this dought n the company which is taking to girl is taking responsibility of girl or not

  8. Firstly I congratulate u for ur will to express ur views in this forum.certainly these above words shall inspire and help lot of fellow female sailors in many ways.Although I shall differ in ur ideas .you r talking about stereotyping attitude of others while u have done the same in the above article..I have sailed and trained female engineers who r still my Gud frends and colleagues.y have u choosen merchant navy…well this question is common shoot out at every mariner ,the only thing is tht if u r a female ,u r gender is questioned and if u r a male other things like education,opportunity,money,family all this things are questioned…I only request u to believe in equality and follow Wat u preach…before u talk abt partiality stop writing views explaining u as a female mariner,rather I would have been happy if u could have addressed ur problems as a sailor rather as an female sailor…congrats once again .welcome to our sailing family..

  9. Dear preksha, dont worry about harrasment by seniors as that will result in big problems for the culprits and even loss of job and dignity in the industry.Equally important is that you should not get involved with other crew members onboard by your free will.ship is the workplace and its dignity should not be compromised.As long as ppl go there to work and keep things strictly professional there will be no problems whatsoever.thanks

  10. Dear Arjun
    I completely believe in equality and that’s one of the reasons why I am in this profession. And if people like me also start believing in equality, I believe I would not be asked as to why I chose this profession based on my gender. I haven’t expressed anywhere about partiality. What I have tried to convey are the indifferences and challenges faced onboard. This would help any women seafarer to be prepared for a tough life onboard. I have expressed about some hurdles which are strictly faced by women.

  11. Dear Preksha

    As long as you are strong and firm, no can harm you. Besides every company has strict policies against harassment and there are many laws protecting the rights of women. You may search in the internet about companies taking girl cadets. You can also try in shipping corporation of India.

  12. Redrafted
    Congratulations on your achievement.
    I personally feel that one should do the work which one enjoys as then one gives the best. Few have raised concerns when time to raise a family comes but I am sure that one can prioritise and juggle the professional and personal responsibilities and do justice to both of them.
    Employment conditions in this industry are still male friendly though its changing slowly. May be you can be the catalyst to start the change.
    Leisure (cruise) industry has ratio between genders much more balanced than the cargo vessels. Also, after doing the professional duties, no one should dictate your social interaction as long as one is following etiquettes which you would follow on land.
    I had female officers sailing working me, and there were issues to harassment also. I instead of advocating banning the female officers, did investigation and the culprit was punished as per the company’s rules and regulations. As to the personal security and risks, they are same as any place in the world. With common sense one should not let situations develop on board.
    All the best for your preparation for exams.

  13. …..welcome on board Ms Paromita……in my experience women are equally good when work matters….even sometimes more attentive and obedient……..please do not blame the men on board….even me …father of two daughters…..have not sailed with a woman colleague till i sailed for the first time after 23 years of sailing…. . give us some time to adjust…..and we will..

    but, in my experience new kind of politics or may I call “sexual politics “….started happening on board…which was very disturbing and depressing at times…..which i experienced after 23 years of sailing life……and sexual harassment………….sometimes we just blame the men……..but in my experience sometimes women are to be blamed too…..
    so, be brave….be honest to yourself……be responsible
    wish you a nice career ahead……………….

  14. am a deck cadet from nigeria working with nigeria port auothrity let be friends ok my facebook name is darekehinde steve

  15. Great job. Check the history women have never been behind in any of the fields.

    Not only in social life, in every thing they have been a great partners side be side in every field.

    warm regards, and best wishes to all the ladies who have decided to take the world ” zara Hat ke” 😉

    regards

    Capt. Syed Mohamed

  16. Loved your writing rather its better to say your experience on board..keep sharing..nice work..

  17. Dear Paromita

    I have this strong admiration for women seafarers. I salute your courage ma continue to keep your head high and never get intimidated.

    Thanks for sharing. All the best in the career.

  18. I read your article and think I may be able to make you feel less discouraged and bitter about the Merchant Navy. I’m a chief engineer and an avid blogger myself.
    Problem of acceptance: Well every seafarer, no matter what age or rank or experience for that matter have to prove themselves to gain the confidence and trust of their colleagues. The moment some slack of any kind is noticed that person that person is a target, and intermediate appraisals and mentoring will ensue. If the person improves, all is forgotten and if they don’t they may be in trouble. The weaker or younger or older you are mean you need to prove that you are competent; it’s got nothing to do with you being a female. I would advise you to stop wasting your time thinking you are special or you will slacken at work. As I noticed the models’ boiler suit is loose and the sleeve buttons aren’t even fastened, your helmet doesn’t have the chinstrap and you aren’t wearing a safety harness or gloves. This observation is done by every port state inspector, class surveyor and superintendent that comes onboard.
    Fighting loneliness: Sometimes you may be the only Indian among a ship full of other nationalities, and even though you may be the best at work and have many years of experience you will still feel lonely and isolated. In any case the ship is a place for work, not a college prom. Keep your talk professional and not personal. People find games like chess and carom or foosball to pass time. And this again has nothing to do with being a female. It’s best not to get to attached to people and to maintain a professional decorum.
    Prejudice and stereotypes: Every highly educated or extra bright candidate that comes onboard is asked the same question and given the same advice. If you have a good aptitude why are you onboard a ship and why don’t you do some basic higher study and settle ashore. Many of the younger crowd does take this advice and leave this career soon. In this day and age times have changed and one can find a comfortable career and growth ashore.
    Women have the wombs so far and it’s not abnormal for the men to want the women to bear their kids. Kids of any species and race follow the Mother and there’s nothing you can do about that. So It’s common sense that the woman would be doing great injustice to the poor children if they cannot have her around most of the time. Household chores can be done by any partner in the relationship and it would be wrong to say that is a woman’s sole responsibility.
    In any career, situation and stage in life one needs to prove they are capable to gain respect and trust. It has nothing to do solely with females onboard.
    Lack of basics: Well while ordering consumables for the vessel they order standard sizes, with Europeans any Asian will find it difficult to get their size, with Asians onboard one can find their size onboard. No one needs to keep a whole plethora of sizes onboard in anticipation of that one odd sized person to come onboard as all of this cost’s the company money.
    I feel you have gone onbard thinking you are special and need everything to be laid out for you, You aren’t ready to accommodate yourself to an environment that hasn’t seen anyone of your size or sex in the recent past and I’m sure you got everything eventually when it wasn’t available initially.
    Narrow minded: Well in nature a man and woman is a natural unit for procreation and other things. Although when a chief engineer and master become very close it causes unease with some crew depending on what ensues due to their closeness, any group of people onboard causes tongues to wag and others to get upset. Like if an engine cadet is called by the Master all the time and the chief mate is ignored, this will cause a huge upset in the ships ecosystem. Being a female it causes one more issue and that of natural couple or the sexual and emotional component. One needs to accept this basic natural truth and move on. You are there to work and not to socialise.
    Mental and physical stress: Well this career does have a lot of mental and physical stress; fortunately we do have measures in place like SOLAS, MLC, etc. to help us to regulate our lives while onboard and for our health and safety. One has to do a good job, no matter what sex, age, and experience they have.
    Proving your competency: Stop complaining, and start making good the money your company pays you and the hopes of your parents in you.
    Difficult tasks: Well it doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man, if you are in the merchant navy you should know t’s tough and hard work. It is for the boys too. Some boys go to the gym onboard or bulk up on food to adjust to the work load. I certainly don’t think that everyone can run in the Olympics, only the most professionally trained and fit. Although shipping isn’t the Olympics, it is a tough and versatile career.
    I hope you feel much better and less singled out and victimised after reading my two paise. Best of luck!

  19. We do work at the same company and principal, BSM and SFL respectively. Best regards from the Philippines.

  20. Dear Paromita,

    I appreciate your courage in joining a male dominated field of work.
    It is not at hard work that worries anybody on board for a man or woman,
    it is the dirty politics that play havoc & spoil the atmosphere.So my advise
    to you is keep yourself engaged with work and studies,do not get involved
    in gossips.This is my advise to any Seafarer who is on board after 25 years
    @ Sea as an Engineer.

  21. Well said Chief Andy. The whole (nicely written) article however in it’s definition express the woman on board is unique. So – do not expect anything else as “bravo, bravo – you are doing well..”! I’ve sailed in the past with several females on board (mainly Deck Officer’s). Never, ever each of them mentioned their status as different, more hard, more challenging. They were doing their job. Quiet well BTW. Ahh.. one more thing.. as Chief Andy wrote before – this helmet is against all safety standards 😉 Not your fault I guess. But please – such long hair is an invitation to accident. I’ve heard of many “scalping” incidents related to long hair. Mooring winches, blocks, rotating machinery etc.. you name it. You look cute with this hair but for God’s sake – cut them.

  22. I don’t think merchant navy is a good job, just because it offers a good salary. How much ever the pay may be, it is no way equal to the problems we face and the sacrifices we do. At the end it is for someone’s commercial benefits that we toil so much, facing extremely stressful life. All companies prefer only the minimum crew, just because they can save money. Why cant there be 2 persons for a rank, so that we can a peaceful and stress free life there out at sea. Inspite of number of accidents, and regulations, the problems of fatigue are sleep depriviation still dominates.
    Sincerely expecting more changes in this field. Never choose this field just for the cause of money, without having a passion, u will die out of regression.
    All the best to you mam! 🙂

  23. Well said I also was a merchant marine the first alaska. Native women to become one and serve in a war. I loved it I served for 7 years and saw the world it took a lot of hard work to get the respect from my ship mates but it was worth it. Thank you for sharing your story

  24. Hello Paromita,
    this is a very interesting article, thanks so much for writing it! I certainly hope that also this industry will learn to appreciate the presence and work of female colleagues very soon, much more. Pioneers like you always have a set of very special challenges to overcome but every bit of these is worth it. Every little victory and moment of joy counts throughout time. So I am happy to read that you enjoy the nature / sea part and focus on positive aspects, it’s an excellent way to go! Also, I loved the crane part you describe – it reminded me of a time when I worked on a huge construction site for several years. Despite very long working hours in all kinds of weather, physically it was not half as demanding as your job. Back then I also was lucky because working as a technical interpreter and translator on that site, which even happened to be in Berlin city. So all in all, a very different setting. Still, I was one of the very few women working with 150 men on a huge site. And most of them were friendly, respectful and at peace with this because my role was to support their work with my translating and interpreting, something which they needed on a daily base and could not do themselves. Nevertheless, stereotypes were always around and even in their mostly “soft”, “just-kidding”- version it was clear that also this industry still was in need for change – it still is but much has changed since then. Once I had to climb a 30 m crane because a device at the top was damaged. The German technician arrived and needed to communicate with the Italian one. And there was no choice but to climb that crane. I vividly remember the mix of excitement, fear and joy up there – and the apparently endless climbing! Once up there, these gentle monster cranes move gently and when they do it feels like they are starting to tilt – will never forget that. When I got back down one of the workers said “I never saw a woman climbing up a crane!” It was not meant strange in any way, just genuine surprise. And so I answered him with a smile: “Guess what I used to get up there? Showing both hands, pointing at my feet.” We both laughed about it – which is something I just wish for many men and women in similar situations, too. Humour is a powerful force. Not always the perfect thing to say come to our mind in a given moment, but when it does and both sides can laugh, it can make all the difference. It was one of the best jobs I’ve ever done and some beautiful friendships came out f it. And that is why I fully understand what you are writing here. Keep up the great work, stay healthy, enjoy all the fine sides of it – and have much success! 😉
    Best from The Netherlands,

  25. nowadays leading shipping companies encourage women seafarers.
    cadets are not allowed to do many works that you have mention due to safety reasons. they are on board to study and learn. in future there will be many like you.

  26. I would like to ask one question that is ,I am confused between what to choose nautical sci or marine eng which one is good ,safe and comfortable for girls.

  27. Hello, I am a deck cadet. I have completed 12 months onboard . I need 6months more to complete my training. I am getting a really hard time to find a ship again. previously I went through the rpsl number of East india shipping corporation as of now it is showing Invalid on the DG website. Please give me some clue about any company who might take experienced cadets.Thank you. please help.

  28. hello fellow seaman its nice to see how you can only criticise the attitude the crew had onboard the wardrobe issue and lonliness favouritism and all difficulty in doing particular jobs ,its good you realise what makes a dad angry a brother frustrated and a son pissed off with life when they talk to you about what they face . kindly first learn to put your chin strap on and follow safety and dont leave your overall sleeve buttons open and for once realise what men have to go thro just to keep their families happy plz see their sacrifice .cheers sea is not a place to complain its where u adjust and live .life is not roses like how most women think

  29. Sorry you encounter so much sexism. I really wish being a woman didn’t come with such burdens in life.

    Why we were placed in such a world, I don’t know.

    I also find it amazing how many men don’t realize how much the world is designed around them, and not with women in mind. Even in an office and academic environments. At school, the tables always came up to my chest forcing me to write at uncomfortable angles.. Most office chairs are too big for women. The lumbar support jams in to my mid back and there is nothing to support my lumbar region. I once worked in a lab and the gloves were always too big for my hands. At gyms, even though most men use free weights and most women use the machines, the machines are designed for men and not women, and this makes it impossible for women to use them with good form. I can’t even reach the handle bars on the arm curl machine. Even going out to eat, I’m expected to pay $10 for a portion of food that’s big enough to feed me for the entire day, when I have no place to store it and must throw the rest away. There is only one restaurant around here that has portion sizes for smaller people and that’s only because the owner’s wife brought it up to him. And I’m not particularly small, by the way. I’m almost dead average as far as height for women goes.

  30. rohit wason the same could be said to men about what life is like for women. While no one’s hardship is invalid, we can make lists of the hardships that both men and women face and the list for the women will be longer and more severe every time.

    How many poor women are there in India with 5 kids too many and another on the way that she doesn’t have enough food or energy for, because she had no way to stop her husband from having sex with her?

  31. Andy says:

    Trust me, no matter how much men are made to prove themselves in male dominated fields, women are held to a higher standard all around. I’m positive Paromita is correct in her assessment of HER situation.

  32. good day!

    please help me with my concerns.Good Suggestions or advise is highly appreciated.

    I’m 27 years old woman from Philippines.

    I graduated BS in computer science(4 year course).I have almost 6years experience as office staff.But ever since i really want to work as sea woman.now, I would like to ask for suggestions guys what am I going to do.Im willing to undergo trainingS if needed.I do not know what to do and how to start.THANKYOU

    email:lovi_pat@yahoo.com

  33. @Lovely: Please check the age limit and qualification requirements from one of the colleges in the Philippines.

  34. @ Dipankar Bhunia (or to others), you wrote aboce: “but, in my experience new kind of politics or may I call “sexual politics “….started happening on board…which was very disturbing and depressing at times…..which i experienced after 23 years of sailing life”

    Can you please explain what do you mean by “sexual politics” ? And why it was depressing?

    Please share any thoughts or comments on this.

  35. Please im a graduate of stars maritime academy from Nigeria. I’m 21years old. A female cadet officer I study shipping management and I’m still willing to work onboard a ship. I dnt mind if I needed to go through trainings pls can you put me through MA…..

  36. I love your courage…..am also new in this industry and graduating this year to start as a deck cadet…I also fear heights but by your words…and with God i will sail through

  37. am primrose from Kenya. I would like to study nautical science but cannot afford school. can anyone please direct me to where I can get help?

  38. In a perfect world someone could write a policy and stop discrimination, but life isn’t perfect. It isn’t fair that a female officer should have to constantly prove herself, but you willingly accept the indignity because the work you’re doing now is paving the way for women seafarers of the future.

    I flew fighter aircraft for a living, and both my immediate boss and the Colonel in command of the wing at my last base were women–and they were shit-hot fighter pilots and good leaders. Just as nobody in our organization batted an eye at their gender, one day the same will be true for women in maritime professions.

    Keep it up, Paromita.

  39. Hope you become successful in your carrer and life purposes i never had woman seaman on board as co workers but i think they can change the atmosphere of hard and difficult sea jobs
    Wish you the best mom

  40. this is a really interesting article, thanks Paromita.
    I’ve been invited by Hull Maritime museum, UK to produce a short film for the museum about life at sea. I would like to travel on a cargo ship for a few weeks. Can anyone help make this happen?
    kind regards
    Patricia

  41. @Patricia: There are few shipping companies which allows “Travel on Cargo Ship”, however, due to the current pandemic situation this has been stalled.

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