by Laura Mirabella, Shipping Broker

The maritime industry can be a challenging and rewarding field for women. Thirty years ago it was difficult for women to break into this industry. In today’s world more and more woman are moving into principal positions. As a female broker, while I see that many women work in this business, especially in Texas, I believe that the industry still has much to do to recruit and involve more women. If you are a woman and work in this industry, it is important to be tough and to understand the phrase “It’s business; it’s nothing personal.” This business is a difficult, challenging, 24/7/365 profession. The hours are long, and you have to be available
at any time — even during Christmas dinner.

Women in every industry are working hard to “make it to the top” and to be treated as equals regarding salary, responsibility, and career advancement, and the maritime industry is no exception. As Rich Wilson and the rest of the skippers are demonstrating
in the Vendée Globe, it is important to not let people discourage you from pursuing your goals,even though they may seem scary and uncertain. It is good, and often important, to try a position that you know will be challenging. Just remember that your mind and body are strong, and persistence will pay off — just keep trying.