International Women’s Day 2024

In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2024, we spoke to six women at V. in a range of roles about their experiences of the maritime industry.

First Assistant Engineer, Leah Jabierto

How long have you worked at V.?
I have been working at V.Ships for nine years.

What is your role on board?
I ‘m a First Assistant Engineer onboard.

What do you enjoy most about being a seafarer?
I think the most enjoyable part of being a seafarer is having the opportunity to visit different countries around the globe without the fear of spending too much on plane ticket.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a seafarer?
For those aspiring group of people who are planning to be part of the great ships of the world, the first thing you must think is yourself. If sea makes you happy then chase your dreams. I don’t have any objection to anybody who wanted to explore the seven continents of the world.

What do you enjoy doing out of work?
Well, during vacation, I like to cultivate my garden with growing flowers and ornamentals plants. Also, during weekends, it’s my routine to visit one of my favorite grocery stores in the Philippines.

 

_____________________________

Third Officer, Chrystabel Greentree

How long have you worked at V.?
Joined V group as a deck cadet in September 2019. Qualified OOW unlimited in February 2023

What do you end joy most about being a seafarer?
I enjoy sailing between ports when you are miles from the nearest land. Just you and the ocean.  The ship at the mercy of the ocean. . The ship at the mercy of the ocean

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a seafarer?
If becoming a seafarer is what you dream then chase it. Don’t give up even through the hard times. Commitment and determination will get you your success. Being a seafarer is not just a job. It becomes a lifestyle.

Which is your favorite country out of all those you’ve visited?
I enjoy all the ports during the voyages but Colombia was a memorable experience. Sat on the beach with a coffee looking across the water and seeing the ship.

What do you enjoy doing out of work?
Being with family and friends; Swimming. Diving. Hiking. Fishing.

___________________

Deck Cadet, Hannah Sabio

How long have you worked at V.?
I began working at V. during my cadetship and worked there for a year.

What do you enjoy most about being a seafarer?
Being a seafarer, I find enjoyment in all things, even the small things. I admire the view of the ocean in four seasons, the ocean waves I hear while working on deck, the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures, and the work environment. Although this work is challenging, what is important is that I love what I do. And every day brings me new experiences to look forward to. Ultimately, it gives me the strength and resilience to withstand any situation the world threw at me.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a seafarer?
If you are still contemplating it, this is the sign to make your dreams a reality. It will be challenging at the beginning, but along the way you will overcome it. Remember, the sea will not always be calm. Therefore, you must be prepared to encounter bad weather and poor visibility en route to your destination. Never give up and have the ability to possess both physical and mental strength. Lastly, believe in yourself. If I can do it, so can you!

Which is your favourite country out of all those you’ve visited?
France is the country I love the most out of all the countries I have visited so far. Since I frequently took shore leave after work during the dry dock, I had the opportunity to explore the city, its cuisine, and its culture for several days, feeling like a real local.

What do you enjoy doing out of work?
In order to have a good time at sea, it is crucial to have our own coping mechanisms when on board the vessel, particularly given the duration of our stay there. For me, I enjoy my ‘me-time’ and converse with my family and friends during my free time because we have unlimited internet on board the vessel.

__________________________

Third Officer, Maria Elena C. Bolañoz

How long have you worked at V.?
I’ve been working with V.Ships  since 2021.

What is your role on board?
I am a Third Officer on an LPG vessel.

What do you end joy most about being a seafarer?
For me navigation is an art which I’m very passionate about. Working as a seafarer is very enjoyable because is a different and unique job, where you can learn about different cultures, languages, visit different countries in a contract, becoming stronger throughout different challenges, more resilient, enhancing attitudes like teamwork and leadership.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a seafarer?
I would say “Being a seafarer is an opportunity of selfgrowing,  learning, discovering the world and you have many extraordinary experiences. If you become a seafarer you would not regret it“.

Which is your favourite country out of all those you’ve visited?
My favourite country visited was Australia.

__________________________

Global Planning Manager – Nadezda Pozilenko

Please tell me how long you have been working in the maritime industry and what your role entails.
I’ve been working in the maritime industry since my university days. My current role is Global Planning Manager. My job is to drive globally consistent crew planning with strong focus on proactive workforce management for chemical and gas tanker sector.

How do you believe your role at V. has contributed to challenging and reshaping the traditional gender norms?
Historically, women’s presence in the maritime industry has been very limited. However, there have been visible changes in recent years towards gender diversity and women’s involvement, including the promotion of more women into leadership roles.
As a woman in the maritime industry, I break the customary stereotypes demonstrating that women are competent, capable, and proficient. It’s a fantastic industry to work in and women can bring a variety of new ideas, experiences, and innovative solutions to it.

From your perspective, what impact can a diverse and inclusive workforce, including more women, have on the dynamics and success of the maritime industry?
Among the first ones I would mention a more collaborative and supportive environment. Women bring unique skills, ideas, expertise, new approaches and viewpoints that will drive growth and success of the industry.

Can you share a personal experience that highlights the achievements or challenges you’ve faced as a woman in your maritime career, emphasizing the significance of women’s contributions in shaping the industry?
When I just started my job, it was almost a fully male-dominated environment. I had to prove my capabilities and expertise only because I’m a woman. I’m happy to see the world is now changing, and we’re having more and more inspiring examples of women who pursue their careers in the maritime industry and make it a real success.

What do you like to do out of work?
I like reading psychology books, playing chess, skiing, and travelling.

__________________________

Global Planning Manager – Sarah Oliver

Please tell me how long you have been working in the maritime industry and what your role entails.
I’ve been working in the maritime industry for 13 years now.  I started as Fleet crew assistant, and gained knowledge and opportunity until I became Global Planning Manager under Marine HR in V.
My work  entails managing a team of crew planners, handling dry cargo vessels (container, vehicle carrier, roro).   As a GPM, I help the team in managing their pool of seafarers, understanding their requirement, putting strategy in improving the pool of seafarers, managing escalations and providing coaching and training to the Crew Planners to ensure we are aligned in the objectives of the work force management.

How do you believe your role at V. has contributed to challenging and reshaping the traditional gender norms?
I believe that as a woman who manages or leads a team in a male dominated industry is very challenging but also fulfilling in helping reshape the traditional gender norms.  My role as a GPM in work force management where we deal mostly with seafarers who are also predominantly male, both onboard and on shore, can be a bit more difficult on the technical aspect of discussion.  By looking more into the softskill aspect and advocating for the seafarer from Marine HR perspective, I believe it helps to balance on how we view the overall suitability of seafarers and provide the necessary support to cater for the requirement of our clients.

From your perspective, what impact can a diverse and inclusive workforce, including more women, have on the dynamics and success of the maritime industry?
I believe that before we reach the discussion on including more women in the maritime industry, we first need to address the equal opportunity and respect that women needs in the maritime industry.  Having a diverse and inclusive workforce can be beneficial in the industry to gain more perspective from various backgrounds, experience, better understanding on client needs and satisfaction, engagement and decision-making capability.

Can you share a personal experience that highlights the achievements or challenges you’ve faced as a woman in your maritime career, emphasizing the significance of women’s contributions in shaping the industry?
One thing I can share is probably the most challenging task as a woman when we need to advocate for the respect, rights and protection of women seafarer sailing onboard who were victims of harassment, bullying and discrimination.  As a manager in the Marine HR who leads and implements processes on performance and disciplinary, and also as a woman, I need to make sure that the allegations are addressed with fairness and equality for both the complainant and the person being complained about, but also pushing for the improvement in the procedure to ensure women are protected in the future, and seafarers are well informed with proper guidelines when sailing with a woman onboard.  There are still steps that we can take further as an organization to improve our understanding on anti-harassment and bullying, but more importantly, as an organization, we need to pay attention that this is a requirement in order to have equal opportunities and rights for all gender.

What do you like to do out of work?
I am firstly a mother, so taking care of my child and my family is what I love to do outside of work.

 

Happy International Women’s Day to all women at sea and on shore!