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FEMALE SEAFARERS OF DORIAN LPG

Traditionally, the sea is a male-dominated industry. Though it is still rare to find women at sea, with statistics showing that women make up only an estimated 2% of the world’s maritime workforce, things are quickly changing with more women joining seafaring and becoming valuable members of ships' crew. 

Gender diversity & equality onboard

Leading the way of this positive trend is our renowned principal Dorian LPG, who is committed to raising awareness of both gender diversity and equality on board and they are surely acting on it, employing female cadets and officers on their modern VLGC vessels. Since 2019 six female cadets joined Dorian LPG, with more cadets planned to join Dorian LPG in 2021.

On International Women’s Day we bring you the story of five outstanding women who had dreams of becoming seafarers and today they are part of the growing Dorian family. Who says that dreams don’t come true? 

Deck Cadet Berta Micic

They surely came true for Berta Micic from Croatia who became the first female seafarer to join Dorian LPG. We like to say that Berta is the pioneer of Dorian's vision to employ female cadets and officers. We talked to Berta prior to her first embarkation and you can see the full story here.

Berta at the Panama Canal

 

Berta recently completed 12 months onboard Dorian fleet. As expected a lot of things have changed since our first conversation. The always positive and approachable Berta was delighted to share her experiences.

What kind of impression did your first voyage leave on you?

„It was kind of scary at the beginning“, she begins sincerely. „Like it is with every beginning“, she explains. „But every day I had an opportunity to learn something new for which I can be thankful to my superiors and that made things easier to cope with. Day after day my limits were tested in this male dominated industry and day after day I thrived through it. And I loved it!“, Berta reflects back.

And what is that one detail from your first voyage that you will remember for the rest of your life?

„The preparation of the vessel before entering Dry Dock and the opportunity to see inside of the Cargo Tanks for the first time while in Dry Dock. Definitely an experience to remember“, Berta states excitedly.

It is fair to say that a lot of aspiring female seafarers would be interested to know how male colleagues react to female seafarers. What was your experience?

„I had my fears and doubts before embarkation but I was truly surprised how welcoming and above all, how helpful my colleagues have always been. Not once did i feel like I didn't belong“.

Third Engineer Nadezda Poliscuka

Nadezda Poliscuka from Latvia is all about learning and achieving more. Nadezda joined Dorian in 2019 and is currently employed as Third Engineer.

Before this, Nadezda worked for various shipping companies and she believes that her experience can serve as a helpful insight to other young women who want to pursue this career.

 

Nadezda at work

 

Like Berta, Nadezda has also had very positive experience with male seafarers since joining Dorian LPG, who are always friendly and supportive. Nadezda has unfortunately in her previous companies also experienced the negative side of being a female seafarer, she faced mocking. However, determined as she is, she rose above those moments working hard every day, pushing and learning and wanting more. „With that attitude, respect is always granted“, she says.

Nadezda also wanted to stress how we shouldn't only motivate women with bright stories and how life is great at sea. „Many girls don't understand what they will face onboard, the truth is – the job is hard and tough, but if this is what you want, then you don't have to be afraid that you can't handle it because there are many jobs on board which require female skills.  Females should understand that they have something unique to give to the industry!“.  Nadezda points out honestly.

Deck Cadet Valerija Vatagina

Her colleague Valerija Vatagina from Lithuania shares the same thoughts. Valerija is a Deck Cadet who joined Dorian last Summer and wanted to share with us what motivated her to become a Seafarer.

„I became interested in this specialty because of my interest in mechanics, especially influenced by my family“, she recalls. „Since childhood, I used to sit with my dad in the garage, dismantling the car with him“, she smiles and continues: „I never had dolls, only a collection of cars.  Also, all my male part of the family are sailors: my father is a chief engineer, my grandfather is a pilot and my uncle is a navigator.  All these people influenced me greatly to become part of them and part of the sea“.

Valerija enjoying the view onboard

 

What is the favourite part of your job/ day onboard?

„I really fell in love with every sunset and sunrise during my watches, observing the dolphins, turtles and flying fish. Naturally, I love my job – participating in different drills, taking part in cargo operations. The most interesting part was working with gases and observing how they turn into liquid“, Valerija tells us in one breath.

Deck Cadet Andela Cetkovic

Andela Cetkovic, deck cadet from Montenegro also has an anecdote to share from her experience onboard –  regarding the Baptism Ceremony which takes place on board when a seafarer crosses the Equator for the first time.

Andela on deck

 

„It happened exactly one month after my embarakation on LPG/C Corvette. It was December 10th 2020 when we crossed the equator at 20:00 LT. The Ceremony was organized on the deck and I was first approached by Poseidon“.

There is a pause. Poseidon?

Andela laughs. „Yes. Poseidon! First he gave me some exercises and then I had to dance even though I have no idea how to dance. Then I had to pass under a rope which represented the Equator line while my colleagues splashed me with water from a fire hose.

We thought that was all but we were wrong.

„After I passed the rope, Captain and Poseidon waited for me on the other side offering me to drink sea water and a special non-alcohol cocktail. After that I received a certificate and became a seafarer of all seas and oceans. It was one of my best days and I am very grateful to our Captain, Officers and my colleagues for organising this ceremony“ Andela says thankfully.

Deck Cadet Nina Roth

Someone who is still waiting on her Baptism Ceremony is Nina Roth from Croatia who joined Dorian as a Deck Cadet.

Nina onboard LPG/C Concorde

 

Nina comes from a family of seafarers and is passionate about anything related to the sea. She developed this love as a child, living by the sea her whole life,  she can not imagine her life without it, she says.  It was only natural that the sea was her career choice, from a young age she started working in the yachting industry where she was very well informed about the industry and how life onboard functions.

„I was prepared to face the fact that maybe some male colleagues would be suspicious about working with a female colleague but fortunately my doubts were quickly dismissed“, Nina states. „I was welcomed very warmly, supported by my colleagues and never had the feeling that I am treated differently or that I had to prove myself more or less than my male colleagues“.

Messages to future female seafarers

Listening to the interesting stories of these sea-born women, we can conclude that there are many different aspects, perspectives and experiences in the lives of female seafarers, but when we asked them if they have ever regretted choosing this path, they all had the same, simple answer: No!

They are happy and proud to be the ambassadors of Dorian LPG for future generations of female seafarers and are grateful for the company's encouragement and support.

We must say that they're taking their role very seriously and that they all individually wanted to send out a message to future female seafarers or young females who are still not quite sure whether to become a seafarer.

Berta: Definitely follow the path you have chosen for yourself and be brave! With strong will and determination, nothing is unachievable! Whether you are male or female.

Nadezda: First of all – think twice! This job requires a strong personality. But also, it can help to build this personality. If your passion for the job is strong enough to give you motivation to learn and develop yourself, then it is worth trying.

Second – Believe in yourself! If you really want to become a high-level specialist in this industry, then there are no limits or borders to stop you. This depends only on your personal motivation and desire.

Valerija: I want to advise women that now everything is possible in this world. You should always go forward and never give up. I believe that a woman is capable of doing anything.

Andela: Follow your dreams if you love this career path and don’t be in doubt that you won’t be accepted.

Nina: My advice is to dismiss all doubts. If you are with Dorian, all you can experience is maximum support from the company and colleagues. If this is your dream, go ahead and live it fully.

Berta, Nadezda, Valerija, Andela and Nina – thank you very much for this!  We wish you further luck in the future and calm seas and fair winds on your voyages!

Become part of Dorian LPG

Dorian’s pool of female seafarers is constantly growing. We are excited to hear from them in the near future.

If you want to become part of the Dorian LPG team, please apply through our online application: https://aplikacija.pasat.hr/

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