Career Development and Opportunities for Female Seafarers

Hi, my name is Leticia Pereira; I’m a third engineer from BW Magna, an FSRU vessel in Brazil crewed by Brazilians from the OSM Thome Brazil office. I graduated from Merchant Navy School in 2014, and since then, I’ve worked in different kinds of vessels. This is my second contract with OSM Thome, signed in February 2020.

I’m proud to be part of this partnership between OSM Thome and BW because, within the last few years, I could feel that both companies have policies about women on board, and together, they found their way to protect and make sure we feel safe in our workplace. I won’t lie and say it was/is all easy; it wasn’t/isn’t, at least not when we still are a minority; in the school, we were 150 classmates, and only 16 were women; most of the time, it’s only one or two of us in the vessel.

Talking with people onboard, I have learned that it’s an all-men workplace in some places worldwide, and it’s hard to find space for us. It’s still hard to be respected without asking for respect or proving your capability, but that has been changing; companies are creating policies, and people are learning one way or another to respect us and our work on board. In my experience, it has been challenging, especially in the beginning, but at the same time, it has been good. It became something to be proud of, something that has given me growth; from my end, it’s all also connected to the office staff keeping an open line with the crew about all our concerns, keeping track of our doubts, and giving the support we need, like I saw so many times with OSM team onshore, this is happening in Brazil and the world.

It’s now much easier to find women giving steps ahead towards higher ranks on board and onshore. For the future, I want to keep seeing improvement, companies creating a safe space for us to work, and equal opportunities to grow.