Women in maritime
What did you want to become when you were a kid?
There were many things I wanted to become when I was a kid. The earliest one I remember is that I wanted to become a veterinarian because I love animals. The other thing I remember strongly is that I wanted to become a maths teacher since I’ve always loved maths and other logic systems. My wish to become a seafarer started somewhere around 7th or 8th grade.
Why did you choose to work within shipping?
My initial wish to become a captain was pretty simple: I loved sailing as a kid and dreamt about standing on the bridge of a big ship. (I mean, who wouldn’t??) My choice to change to become a motorman was a little more complicated, since I had no idea I liked technical stuff until I went to the seafarers’ high school (with the intent to become an AB and then study to become a nautical officer, of course!). The “annoying” headmaster forced us to try both in the beginning, and my engine teacher was very encouraging towards everyone to consider the engine department too. I felt very uncertain, but decided to give it a try. And here I am, 13 years later, being a marine engineer and happy about my decision.
What is your best work-related memory?
Hard to pick one. One of my favourite memories is just standing between the main engines on Germanica, simply listening to their song for a while. There’s something meditative in focusing on listening to the various kinds of rumblings and other sounds of a very large engine, and Germanica’s were my favourite. But in general, I feel that there are so many good days that it’s hard to point to something that stands out in particular. And things like chats with lovely shipmates, getting focused on a certain fault-finding or doing your favourite maintenance jobs etc.
Who has been your role model?
I have had many role models, but a few that stand out are my first engine teacher (chief engineer on the school ship), for his calm and encouraging manner and life-long experience. A former colleague back when I was a teacher in electrics at the university, for his ever-positive attitude, his exceptional skill in creating a healthy work environment and school environment, and his skill in electrical engineering. And a more recent colleague, for being a steady reminder that with time and experience, one can become one of the most appreciated and respected engineers on board, in spite of one’s anxiety.