By Angelie Lapira, 2nd Engineer, Golden Shui
Being employed and nurtured at Thome Group has been a blessing to me. With eight years on the fast-track cadet program, starting as a cadet and currently, as a second engineer, I have gained a lot of experience that helped me be the woman I am today – empowered and fearless.
This International Women’s Day, the theme is #BreakingTheBias, where it aimed to raise awareness on pushing equality, fair opportunity, and empowerment. Early in my professional career, I faced many challenges, given that men predominantly lead my work environment. It was hard as I always wanted to prove my worth and capabilities. Gender should never be a hindrance to achieving one’s goal. Luckily, I found mentors and colleagues who are supportive.
Women are powerful. For us to achieve more, opportunities must be present reasonably. It gives me joy and inspiration to see that more female seafarers are now being recruited into the maritime industry. There are even more women who are now pilots, masters and mates, engineers, ship surveyors, ship inspectors, and other high-ranking officials in various fields of the maritime industry.
In my field, men dominate when it comes to physical strength. This is an area that we should accept. Hence, working on a ship should be complimentary for men and women. Expertise, workforce division, and teamwork play an essential role in achieving a harmonious working environment.
Diversity is significant. We can work better if we learn to respect and accept anyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or race and focus on what the person has to offer. My achievements as a female seafarer were my badges that I proudly wore wherever I went. I took pride in it because I worked extremely hard to achieve it.
My recommendation is: Be clear on your goal. Set your timeframe. Persevere. Break barriers along the way and pray that you will succeed.
I look forward to seeing more women working onboard in the years to come. We are very capable in an environment deemed as “work only for men”. I am for #BreakingTheBias.