Watch out for further interviews as we work to support a push towards sustainable equality of treatment and opportunity for everyone within maritime.
If you’d like to nominate someone as a future interview subject please do get in touch!
What is your role and how long have you had it?
I currently have a dual role, serving as both the Solstad ROHQ Office Manager and HSEQ System Manager. I’ve done this since August 2019.
As the Office Manager, I have overall administrative responsibility for operation of the branch office, while as HSEQ System Manager I lead the HSSQ Department in our office in the Philippines.
How did you get involved in the maritime industry?
To be honest, I saw getting into the maritime industry as an opportunity, rather than a dream.
I was aware that getting a degree was going to be challenging financially, so I applied for a scholarship grant sponsored by the Norwegian Shipowners Association – Philippines Cadet Project. It wasn’t my first career choice, but I’m glad I took it!
As soon as I was involved with my first roles as a Deck Officer and DP Operator (offshore), I released that I had not only competence, but also an opportunity to really develop my career, take on new challenges and make a difference.
Why do you believe people should consider a future within maritime, and what advice would you give them?
When talking about the maritime industry, there’s a common misconception that it means sailing on ships, but there’s much more to it than that. I believe there’s vast opportunity here for people of all backgrounds and professional ambitions.
Speaking for myself, I enjoyed being a crew member, but I also quickly realised that the skills learnt at sea could be utilised onshore to support the development and improvement of company operations. It provided a very solid foundation to build from.
In terms of the wider industry, it is continuously evolving due to ever-changing regulations, technological advancement, and a diversified environment – so there is always room for growth for those choosing this field. I’d advise people to try and keep up with developments, staying continuously informed to make the most of this dynamic industry’s potential.
What do you think are the industry’s key strengths and weaknesses – how would you like to see it evolve?
Historically, shipping has been a male-dominated industry, but it is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of race and nationality. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement, especially regarding the gender balance. But the good thing about this is, the industry is very open to change and is now working together to achieve shared goals. We can see that we are moving in the right direction.
What do you like best about a) your current role and b) the industry in general?
The best thing about my current role is having the opportunity to lead a group of people and add value; sharing what I have learned from my own personal and professional experiences. In return, I also appreciate the support and knowledge they share with me. The industry on the other hand is very fast-paced and there are always challenges and opportunities… meaning there’s always work to do!
What are your personal ambitions within the industry?
In relation to Solstad Offshore’s focus on Sustainability, the Company has established a ten-year goal on ‘gender balance’ as a major part of its Diversity and Inclusion drive. I want to be involved and really make a difference on this level. I believe that our work within the Company will create a ripple effect across the industry, together with other businesses that share the same goals.
Any other messages you’d like the readers to take away?
Shaping maritime to become a more diverse and inclusive industry is not an overnight fix – it will take time and, most importantly, the INTENTION to change.
It is a slow process, but it is moving forward. So, let’s continue working on it – FULL SPEED AHEAD!