Full Set of Women-Officers sail SCI’s oil carrier, MT Swarna Krishna
The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd., as part of its ongoing Diamond Jubilee celebrations and also to commemorate the International Women’s Day, achieved a remarkable feat when Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, the Hon’ble Minister of State (I/c) for Ports, Shipping & Waterways, flagged off virtually the “14 Women-Officers Sailing Team” on SCI’s oil product carrier the MT Swarna Krishna –from JNPT Liquid Berth, on 6th March.
The vessel sailed for Vadinar in Gujarat under Capt Suneha Gadpande and Chief Engineer Divya Jain.
It is all the more remarkable for Indian women and for the women of the merchant marine that SCI itself is presently helmed by its chairperson, Mrs HK Joshi.
“SCI has been a pioneer in employing women seafarers onboard its vessels and has implemented various initiatives including age relaxations and fee concessions to aspiring female cadets through its Maritime Training Institute to promote their integration into the maritime sector,” the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways said.
The move is expected to trigger a major shift in the perception of seafaring being a male-dominated career and create a more diverse image.
Women account for only 2% of the 1.2 million seafarers sailing the world’s seas.
Challenges women face at sea range from pragmatic things like inadequate protective gear, very often too big for female bodies, to hostile environments on board ships and in the board room.
Even though there has been a lot of progress in the shipping industry over the past 30 years with women claiming senior roles on vessels and in executive boards, they still lack visibility in the sector.
However, as the seafaring profession continues to lose on its attractiveness, especially in the context of the global pandemic and the ongoing crew-change crisis, attracting talent to the industry from both genders seems more important than ever.