Female captains

Any sources for basic demographic numbers .

Seeking number of uS female captains , age brackets if possible.

Any suggested sources? Appreciate it!

within 5 minutes of joining you want statistics on how many female “captains” there are?


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Probably a school project.

If only looking for US Mariners, easy enough to contact the Mational Maritime Center in Martinsburg, WV.


I hear over the radio more Female Bridge officers on foreign ships then I do in relation to US vessels. Seems like it anyways?



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Not nearly enough! Contact Sea Sisters, they’re a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the trade for women…

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I’m a licensed captain charter boat. My daughter asked how women in male dominated industry. I was the first female to get a license and work professionally in the field from the accreditation faculty we used ( New England). Thanks for responses :slight_smile:

Tried a google search found you guys ( and yes it’s totally for a college class essay ) :joy:



Unfortunately there are not enough jobs for mariners in general in the US. It is difficult time for all mariners including female mariners in a dying industry.

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Why don’t you call some of the shipping, drilling, towing and OSV companies and ask them how many female captains they have? You might want to quantify the question by asking how many are serving as masters of the vessel.
I’m guessing you won’t get many responses. :roll_eyes:

What’s an accreditation faculty? If you were in New England, wasn’t your license issued by the USCG?

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200 tons and under only require a passing grade (80%+) except for Rules of the Road (90%+) for an approved course and of course the required sea time.

This gets you a certificate you send in to NMC and you are issued your own copy of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book.

I hope chartering is treating you well, Ma’am.

Really? My expeerience is roughly the opposite. Certainly I do hear European female voices but considering that the shipping industry is rapidly becoming the domain of second and third world nationals, many of whom certainly do not encourage female participation in shipping, and the pool of potential officers also rapidly changing, with most from Asian, East European, African, and Latin American nations entering the ranks, I would expect female presence to remain limited.


I thought Florence Haas died in 1943.

I am old but not THAT old.

I am too old to Google Florence Haas.

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I’m one of who’s still sailing in that capacity. I know of 3 others who are onboard now
and 1 more who retired and is currently teaching.

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Sorry my bad.

Accreditation facility. =. School that did the course and testing fir USCG.

They were surprised ( and very welcoming) to see me. Been several years but hadn’t had a women take their class. Given that I’m mid 50’s I went into their anomaly bucket.

Sure there are others. Course has great content. I worked with manual charts as a kid but was mostly inland waterways so whole different animal . I am by no means an expert, still much to learn ( ex foul weather sailing )

Give me an old salt with zero credentials over my shiny license any day. I’m currently first mate on a fair weather day sailer.


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I don’t know if anyone keeps specific statistics.

I sailed with a few women or girls starting out in the industry at a similar time to me. 40 some years ago. The attrition rate for anyone was high. Was it higher for women probably. I m sure they had all the same reasons for quitting deep sea I did plus perhaps others. I don’t recall any I knew personally going beyond 2nd Officer.

I quite deep sea and now work costal. I’ve worked with quite a few women. Percentage I couldn’t say.
The coastal life, particularly on vessels which don’t go far from home. Is much more conducive to life with family and friends. Doesn’t matter which gender.
I worked with this companies first couple of women to work their way up through the ranks.

Many of the women I work with started their careers here. Starting in the galley, coming on deck, getting sea time. I’ve encouraged and helped some to get certificates and move up through the system.
A number have made it all the way to Master.

We also have some who have come through the Cadet programs having worked elsewhere before coming here.

The number who make it to Master depends on the number who start at the bottom. A relatively small number of seafarers stick with it all the way through.
Unfortunately our numbers are going down. We are tending to recruit deck crew from training centers. The result less deck crew coming from other part of our operation. Which unfortunately has resulted in far few women coming on deck. To replace those who have moved up ahead of them.

Our smaller more isolated operations have more women working on deck than our locations near major centres. Partly I believe due to our tendency to hire and train across departments in small more isolated locations.

I currently know 8 women working as Master. 1 was a Cadet program graduate the rest are company haws-pipers. I know 3 more who have retired. All company haws-pipers. Most did not start out on deck. There are a couple who I don’t know personally.

I know 1 chief Engineer. Company haws piper. She started as cleaner.

As for percentages at trade schools, my son has been through a cadet program for engineering, there was one girl in his year, and two in the deck class. Which appears to be typical. For most of the classes. A rough guess, 5 or 10 %.
We have had a few girls pass through as cadets.

The first one I know of just came back with a chief mates certificate.

We probably have higher than average numbers of women working on deck and in the engine room for a number of reasons.

we are a coastal operator.
Most of our crews live and work nearby our operations.
A lot of our crew are hired, at base entry level, and work their way up through our system. Coming to deck department or engineering from other parts of our operation.
We are a Public Sector, Union company.
Most promotions are based on seniority. Gender irrelevant.
The company provides some assistance for employees to go to school and get certification.

I expect over the next decade our number of women working as master will decline. Unfortunately because our number of women deck crew has declined.

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Female AB here, with a 100ton NC ticket in my pocket as well. If you’re on Facebook, there’s a Women Offshore group you can probably get some anecdotal answers from. As others, have said, I don’t know if there are a whole lot of resources to use. This might be a decent resource to you as well, though it is certainly less specific (Women in Maritime

For me personally, I work for NOAA, and after quickly looking over a roster, there are approximately 276 non-Corps positions between deck, engineering, survey, and stewards. Out of those 276 filled positions (there are probably 50+ vacant positions, this list isn’t completely up to date either), there are 11 engineers, 9 deckhands, 12 stewards, and 18 in the survey department that are women. I may have missed some, but I also assumed if it was ambiguous - like Jamie - it was a woman’s name. So out of 276 filled positions, there are 50 women. Honestly that’s more than I thought, but still very disappointing.

As for ages, the women I know span between late 20s and mid-50s, probably the median age is mid-30s.