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Gender equality
Women in Maritime
Angela Chao’s Experience in the Shipping Industry

Read about Chairman and C.E.O. of Foremost Group – a leading shipping and trading enterprise – Angela Chao’s experience at Sea and her tips on how to start a career in the shipping industry.

[…] For me, international shipping was my first love, even though my path took me initially to the world of finance. My passion for the exciting international world of my parents’ shipping company propelled me to obtain my MBA from Harvard University so that I could join them in the company started by my parents decades before. I was lucky that I had first-hand experience in seeing not only the many, varied career paths available in the shipping industry but also the tremendous joy that my parents experienced from their work. The opportunity to have a positive impact on international trade and geopolitical relations was for me the most important way in which I wanted to spend my working days.

Continue reading.

This appeared in www.angelachaoblog.com

Women in maritime: How to encourage participation – Safety4Sea

Studies have shown that women have excellent opportunities today to pursue careers in maritime law, shipping business and administrations than was the case 30 years ago!

More and more organisations are showing interest to address and provide solutions to the following questions through mentoring, coaching and/or training:

  • Are you hoping to increase women seafarers motivation and engagement?
  • Do you want to improve women seafarers performance?
  • Are you interested in increasing the number of women in leadership roles and the number of women who should be in leadership roles based on demographics, ability and interest?

Read about how to encourage women to work in maritime here.

This article appeared in www.safety4sea.com

Watch this Video by Safety4Sea: Career advice for female leaders in shipping

In line with IMO’s World Maritime Day theme for 2019 ‘Empowering Women in the Maritime Community’, ABS issued a video depicting few of the organization’s female leaders discussing career advice for women pursuing a career in the maritime industry.

Click here to watch the video.

This appeared in www.safety4sea.com

A worth-reading article published by SHINE: Women on deck in the maritime industry. Are you on board with that?


Zhan Chunpei on her way to rescue on a lifeboat

Oceangoing navigation has a masculine history, but now it’s man overboard amid an increasing focus on gender equality on the high seas.

The International Maritime Organization’s annual “Day of the Seafarer,” which falls on July 25, is seeking to break down bias and promote the role of women in shipping. Its slogan is “#IAmOnBoard.”

“To everyone in shipping: you are missing out on a huge talent pool if you don’t recognize and empower women in the workplace,” said Kitack Lim, secretary-general of the organization. “I’m on board with gender equality at sea. Are you?”

Down on the docks of Shanghai, the message resonates with Zhan Chunpei. At just 28, she is the junior chief officer of patrol vessel Haixun 01, the largest of its kind in China. She is also the first woman maritime officer in China who is qualified for pilot navigation on the high seas around the world.

On July 11, Zhan served as a tour guide for the more than 2,000 local residents who came to visit Haixun 01 on China Maritime Day. Afterward, she sat down with Shanghai Daily for a short interview.

Zhan Chunpei guides a tour on Haixun 01 for residents visiting it on the maritime day of China.

Zhan has braved storms and sometimes treacherous waves for more than five years. She participated the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014, and assisted rescue work for the Panama-registered oil tanker Sanchi after it collided with a freighter off China’s east coast in 2018.

Every year, Zhan spends more than 200 days on the sea. She has navigated the equivalent of circumventing the globe five times.

Zhan is self-effacing about her pioneering maritime role in China. She told Shanghai Daily that she still has a lot to learn and attributed her accomplishments to teamwork with other crew.

Ever since childhood, Zhan said she wanted to wear uniform to serve the country. She variously wanted to become a policewoman or serve in the army.

She eventually signed up for a career in the deep blue by enrolling in Shanghai Maritime University. In the spring of 2012, Zhan had her first chance on the high seas when she accompanied a cargo ship to South Korea. She stayed on board for three weeks.

“It was called cognitive practice,” Zhan said. “I was on board the first time to understand how life on the high seas can be.”

First, she conquered seasickness. Then she girded herself to adapt to the often hostile environment. She carefully observed how the experienced deckhands operated equipment, went to the gym regularly and read many books about navigation. By the end of that year, Zhan passed the exam and obtained a certificate of competency for seafarers.

Opportunities favor prepared minds. On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, vanished an hour after take-off. It carried many Chinese passengers. The Chinese Maritime Safety Administration immediately joined the search for the plane immediately.

Eight vessels and five helicopters were dispatched to the south Indian Ocean. Haixun 01 coordinated all their movements.

During the 216 days of search, Haixun 01 came back to Shanghai once for supplements. The crew was tired and distressed, so the administration sought some replacements.

It was Zhan’s big chance and she jumped at it.

“It was bizarre for a woman to be a deck department member, and no one knew if I could pull it off,” said Zhan. “I didn’t even have much faith in myself. All I knew was that I had to do my best.”

She was junior third officer, and apart from her shift beside the helmsman, she was also responsible for the maintenance of the firefighting apparatus on Haixun 01. All eyes were on her.

Haixun 01 Captain Jiang Long admitted he had concerns at the time.

“Many people who had been on the high seas for ages had doubts because they thought Zhan was weak and inexperienced,” he said. “There’s an old seafaring superstition that women on board bring bad luck. Nonsense!” 

The search for the missing jetliner was long and fruitless.

“Every day I woke up with new hope; every night I went to sleep with frustration,” Zhan said.

By the time Haixun 01 was called off the search, Zhan had been on board for two months without a single mistake. On the ship’s trip back to home port, it encountered super typhoon Vongfong. The vessel shook like a leaf, she recalled.

On November 28, 2015, a fishing boat was toppled by a storm some 220 kilometers northeast of the Yangtze River Estuary. Haixun 01 rushed to the scene.

 “The boat was turned over on the sea, and the first round of the search found no signs of life,” Zhan said. “But then one of the bosun insisted on another round of searching because there was still air in the cabin and someone may be alive.”

A lone survivor was found in the second search. Nine other fishermen perished.

“Life on the seas can be tenuous,” said Zhan. “You never know what’s ahead of you.”

At 9:45pm on January 6 last year, Zhan was working out in the gym as usual when she received an urgent order to set sail.

About two hours earlier, the oil tanker Sanchi and a bulk freighter collided off the coast in the East China Sea. The Sanchi was on fire.

Haixun 01 set off at 11:15pm, Zhan didn’t even have time to pack a bag. She was the second officer on the ship.

“We were only informed that two ships had collided,” she told Shanghai Daily. “When we arrived, I found myself looking at hell.”

For six days, Haixun 01 could not approach the burning tanker. Zhan watched and waited, knowing that it carried a crew of 32.

Her job was to coordinate the rescue ships and help the captain with navigation.

On January 13, four rescuers risked their lives to get on board the tanker. They initially found two bodies and the tanker’s black box. They couldn’t get inside the living area of the ship, where the temperature was 89 degrees Celsius.

“They found bodies on the deck of the lifeboat,” said Zhan. “They were so close.”

This year, Zhan passed the chief officer exam.

“You have to say it out loud: Your gender should not be a stain but a strength,” she said. “And you must dare to try and challenge yourself.”

Zhan Chunpei is the first woman maritime officer in China who is qualified for pilot navigation on the high seas around the world.

Source: SHINE   Editor: Yang Meiping

How to be a Non-Executive Director


WISTA UK members were urged to improve their leadership and management skills in a bid to improve on the 10% of females at board level in the country’s industry.

Nearly 50 members heard presentations on non-executive directorships (NEDs) at a meeting sponsored by Gard UK.

Fiona Harthorn of Women on Boards called for more transparency in the recruitment of women at the highest level but also challenged females to build more career resilience and to gain confidence, even if they had taken a career break.



Giving some practical advice, Paul Butterworth of head hunter Odgers said the covering letter was all important and he urged WISTA UK members to use their networks effectively.

Mairéad Ní Cheóinín, from Seafarers UK, who serves as a NED, regaled the audience with her experiences which she said were positive. She urged WISTA Uk members to be persistent as the first attempt may not be successful.

‘Imposter Syndrome – Know your worth and stop feeling like a fraud’

Follow-up from our Imposter Syndrome event on February 18th 2019 with speaker Simone Ingram.

‘Imposter Syndrome – Know your worth and stop feeling like a fraud’

What do Sheryl Sandberg, Sonia Sotomayor and Maya Angelou all have in common? They all admit to suffering from Imposter Syndrome.  Even the most capable and talented people, especially women, struggle with having feelings of never being good enough and feeling like a fraud.

Do you think other people are more qualified than you to do your job?  That you’ve just got there by luck or timing?  Believe ‘If I can do it, anybody can’? Agonise over the smallest flaws in your work? When you succeed, do you secretly feel like you fooled everyone again?  Do you fear that it’s only a matter of time before you are ‘found out’?

In Simone’s coaching experience, Imposter Syndrome is really common despite all the external indicators of success; internally individuals can feel it’s a fluke and that one day they’ll be found out.

So if this is a familiar struggle that you identify with, take comfort in the fact you are not alone and here are some tips to help you.

  • Choose to think positive thoughts and challenge negative beliefs
  • Recognise, anticipate and name your imposter feelings – what are your potential triggers?
  • Use your logical brain to reduce feelings of fear and or anxiety
  • Use the power of breathing and adopting a more relaxed and open physical posture, ‘power poses’. The TED Talk by Amy Cuddy shows how the adoption of physical stances can have a positive impact psychologically on you
  • Focus on the elements that you know and believe you are GOOD at

These are just some ways you can manage and reduce your imposter feelings.  What will work for someone may not for another but you CAN change and manage your self-limiting beliefs and body so as to reduce your imposter feelings.  BUT it will take a conscious effort on your part to expand out of your comfort zones to develop new habits and ways of thinking and in turn feelings.  You will need to be patient, persistent and importantly you will need to show yourself some compassion!

Simone Ingram, an Executive Coach from 3E Coaching, with over 20 years international corporate and leadership development experience, coaches leaders and high potential individuals helping them understand and work through challenges they are facing or key decisions they are contemplating, dealing with Imposter Syndrome, a lack of self-confidence and or emotional intelligence; enthusing and empowering them to recognise their full range of talents and capabilities leading to increased confidence, resilience, creativity and adoption of new leadership behaviours. 

If you have any further questions, do please feel free to reach out to Simone.




IMO hosts event under Women in Maritime programme to train female officials

IMO is continuing its ongoing efforts to ensure women can reach top ranks in the maritime sector, through its Women in Maritime programme.

IMO is continuing its ongoing efforts to ensure women can reach top ranks in the maritime sector, through its Women in Maritime programme. The latest event was a two-week training course for female officials from maritime and port authorities of developing countries, in Le Havre, France (11-22 June).

At the Institut Portuaire d’Enseignement et de Recherche (IPER), 23 female officials from 14 developing countries* had the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of port management and operational efficiency. They also took part in lectures on a variety of port matters including management, security, marine environment, marketing, tariffs and logistics as well as facilitation of maritime traffic, ship/port interface and concession contracts.

Delivered in French, organized visits to the Port of Le Havre and the Port of Rouen, enabled participants to experience for themselves the day-to-day operations of a port, with a view to applying this knowledge back in their respective countries.

The event was delivered through IMO’s gender and capacity-building programme, in collaboration with the Le Havre Port Authority. It comes as part of IMO’s continuous efforts to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Demand for this course has continued to grow substantially over the past three years, however further funding will need to be secured to keep up with the increased demand.

Source: Devdiscourse

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