Mary Haman, President, Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA), has urged women who aim to enter the maritime industry to be courageous if they want to be successful.
In an interview with newsmen, Haman noted that there is the need to overcome fear and doubt.
Using the Managing Director of NPA, Mrs Hadiza Bala, as example of a courageous woman in the industry, she prised her for her efforts in inspiring courage among other female maritime workers.
In her words: “She gives us courage, because she has not always been in the maritime industry and she learned the work very fast.
“This is because she groomed herself, she makes sure she got to know what is there so if Hadiza can do it as young as she is as the managing director of NPA, it means anybody can come and do it if you are focused, you can aspire to be the head of any industry in the maritime.”
Despite gender inequality and other forms of women abuses in the maritime industry, the WISTA president said women should strive for the very top in seafaring but those who cannot aim that high can as well do other auxiliary work on board vessels.
She said such women can as well be identified as seafarers even as she noted that there are lots of job opportunities on board vessels which they can engage in which includes being cooks, nurses, caterers etc.
She stated: “Even though we are married women, we are mothers you know women usually feel because they are women they don’t have place in the maritime industry. But we want to avert those fears and show them that if they are in the maritime industry, and are seafarers there are lots of jobs for them on board vessels.
“They don’t have to be engineers or mechanical this or that, they can be nurses on board vessels, they can be hairdressers they can be cooks, caterers on board vessels so whatever you are doing on vessel makes you a seafarer so we want them to know it’s not so technical that they will feel they cannot do it and we want them to do it when they are still young before they start having families and start saying they can’t do it because of family.”
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