The maritime women

Role models and aspiring talents

From the outside, shipping and the maritime world is a business for men dressed in suits, uniforms or coveralls. Having been working in this industry for ten years, I can not disprove the myth. I can however participate in making the industry's women more visible and verify that more and more woman are enjoying a career in our industry.

For the third year in a row, Maritime Forum Bergen invited female students of Bergen to participate in an evening event where they are introduced to the opportunities in the maritime cluster and to some of the women and role models already in the industry. This year 33 students and 25 women from various maritime companies met for seminar, so-called speed dating and dinner. A pleasant addition to the event this year, was the parallel event for women already working at sea. 50 female seafarers attended this full-day event, and based on the engagement and the feedback, this will also become a tradition. 

I had the pleasure of being invited to both events. First as a speaker for the seafaring women and later I was speed dating the students  together with my colleague Gry Anita Hole, giving our best efforts in introducing them to all the exciting career opportunities within the maritime industry. 

This day was, without doubt, one of the working days I will remember with pleasure for a long time. My colleague Stein Are Hansen and I did not quite now what to expect when twelve lively seafaring women entered our Client Services studio to be enlightened on Norwegian Hull Club's thoughts on contingency handling. It was however one of the most engaging presentations I think any of us ever had. Numerous challenging questions and sharing of real life experience turned the session into more of a good dialogue than a presentation. I think we even made a few people realize that insurance is not only a necessity, but actually fun. 

The engagement did not end there. Elisabeth Grieg from the Grieg Group has contributed to this event all three years, and her engagement both in recruiting women and not least in social corporate responsibilites, is extremely inspiring. She is an impressive role model, not only in the industry, but in general. Her opening lecture was followed by Linn Cecilie Moholt, CEO of Karsten Moholt and Martine Langberg from Falck Nutec, sharing their experience from being women in a "male industry".  

It was an easy and extremely pleasant task to speed date the students. I was impressed by their knowledge, their ambitions and engagement. There is no doubt in my mind that our industry has a bright future if we can attract these students and keep them within the maritime cluster. 

Susanne (Rislå Andersen) and Line (Andersen), thanks for yet another succesful event hosted by Maritime Forum Bergen, I hope I will be asked to attend also next year. 

17. Oct. 2013