Women in Shipping

It’s not easy to be female at shipping events. Lessons from Posidonia:


Does anyone know of any other merchant Mariner forums, besides gCaptain? There’s just so much sexism on this one.

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Best captain I ever sailed under was a woman. She was always getting her hands dirty on deck, good at teaching, and I like not getting screamed at.

That being said I’ve seen a single woman onboard demolish an entire department’s morale. This one third engineer I sailed with couldn’t stop herself from sleeping with half the crew and bitching about it to the other half. Which is of course also the fault of the men who slept with her.

Also, I see no need to make a conscious push to get women into the industry. A minuscule fraction of the women I knew from school are still sailing five years later. Being able to get married, pregnant, and fuck off to a life ashore is a blessing and it’s a no brainer to me why so many women I know have done so. More programs and effort can be made to get them in the industry, but still a large portion will quite sailing after a few years.

And I can’t help but notice that the female push only ever matters for the licensed side of shipping. Nobody really cares about gender equality for the unlicensed, probably because gender equality tends to end when jobs stop being glamorous.


The folks on reddit are generally less sexist on average.

Agreed on your final point. I’m unlicensed, but working toward 3M. I’ve been sailing for 12 years, 6 for NOAA and the last year commercial through the union. I saw it happen with NOAA so often, the PR and higher ups would get so excited about promoting the women officers in their marketing, but utterly forget the unlicensed women. I saw it first-hand when a documentary was made about the “women of NOAA” on a ship I was on… they interviewed the female officer that week but I was only B-roll (“can we get a shot of you holding binoculars?”) but ended up not making the cut at all. In fact, only officers were in the doc, no women unlicensed even in the background.

I tell myself part of it is the natural selection, that women usually are the slight majority at colleges (of course maritime schools are different), so if a woman is looking into the maritime field she’s more likely to go to school than hawsepipe. But it is frustrating that companies are not nearly as “supportive” of women on deck as they are on the bridge.


I understand why NOAA would want to focus only on NOAA Corp in their documentary.

That can be said about everyone from the academies, especially engineers.

What officer job other than Captain is “glamorous”?

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All their unlicensed are direct hire, not like they’re folks from the union. Unlicensed spend more time on the ships than the Corps do.

Did they have any female office workers in that documentary?

I expect it was entirely an officer Corp fluff piece.

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