Vicky shares her story of life at sea during our Women's Month series of interviews in support of International Women's Day 2017.
Q: What sector do you work in?
Oil and gas
Q: What is your rank/role?
I am a second officer/DPO
Q: Why did you decide on a career at sea?
I thought it was an exciting opportunity to learn something new, and I could see many different career options at sea and on land within the maritime industry.
Q: In your seafaring career what do you consider may have been your ‘boldest moment’ and why?
I have found you need to apply yourself fully to every task, and put yourself forward for tasks outside your remit in order to learn more. Asking for assistance when required is also important in expanding your knowledge and therefore your career advancement.
Q: What are the main issues you currently face, if any, as a woman seafarer today? How do you deal with them?
Having a child and continuing with a career at sea has been a challenge. While my company supported me during pregnancy and maternity leave, I feel my career has suffered because of a period of extended leave. This issue is something that companies must address if they want women to return to sea after having children.
Q: What, if any, gender bullying, harassment or discrimination have you experienced? If, so, how did you deal with it?
I have not had any major issues with regards to my gender, however I would say that working in a traditionally male-dominated environment requires a strong woman who can look after herself.
Q: How do you think women can be encouraged to feel welcome at sea, and retained once they are there?
I have not had any problems in this respect, and I think if you respect and treat others well, you can expect the same in return.
Q: Where do you see your future – at sea or ashore?
I now see my future in a shore-based role, although I am currently still at sea working towards gaining a Masters Unlimited.
Q: Would you recommend seafaring as a career?
Yes, I would. It can be very rewarding and fulfilling.