At this year’s CrewConnect Global, we spoke to the leaders and stakeholders of this industry, and found out about their views on the changes in the maritime industry and their impact on crewing and seafarers.
Angie Hartmann, Executive Vice President of Crew Affairs at Starbulk and President of WISTA Hellas, shares the exciting progress that women are making in the maritime industry.
What roles do women fill in currently in shipping?
“I am very happy to say that I’m seeing things improving. As I said in the panel, in 1993, when I first started being a crew manager, there weren’t many women in this position. Slowly, this is changing, and now you can see more women in managerial positions and other crew managers.
If you ask me about women on board ships, I think that is also slowly changing. We have to change their mindsets; people have to be trained. I can see it happening slowly.”
What is the mindset we need to shift from and to what?
“One thing that comes to me is that women want to have families, so this is something that we need to take into consideration. We have to change the mentality of the people on board the vessel. When we have women on board, it is a healthier environment. From what I heard from women who have been on board vessels previously, they were happy. They didn’t face problems with their colleagues. We have women seafarers that joined shipping companies transferring their experience from the sea. It’s a big asset. I can only see a positive outcome from this.”
What are the challenges that need to be overcome to welcome women on board?
“Speaking from experience, when it comes to (women) cadets, they have to be able to join vessels to do their experience and proceed to further certification.
We have to slowly change the current mentality and show that women and men on board can work together fine.”