Women in the maritime industry: realities and prospects

On March 6, 2024, a round table Women in the maritime industry: realities and prospects was held at the House of Journalists (Nevsky Prospect, 70), organized on the initiative of the Seafarers'  Union of Russia (SUR) on the eve of International Womens Day, March 8. The range of issues stated in the meeting program provided for the participation of ladies - from cadets, graduates and teachers of maritime educational institutions to specialists working in the maritime industry, including those taking an active part in the activities of SUR. 

At the beginning of the event, the Chairman of the Seafarers'  Union of Russia, a member of the Government  Marine Board, Yury Sukhorukov, and the Executive Secretary of the Maritime Council, Advisor to the Governor of St. Petersburg, Tatyana Chekalova, addressed the participants with a welcoming speech.

The contributions of the cadets of the Navigation and Electromechanical faculties of the Admiral Makarov State Maritime Academy and Marine Technical College named after Admiral D. N. Senyavin  caught a great interest of the audience.

They told the attendants about the choice of traditionally male professions.  Each of them has her own story, but there is also something that unites them. This is a love for the sea, a desire to make a career in the shipping industry at sea or on shore. 

Alena Laptieva, an acting Radio Officer of  training sailing ship "Mir" told  how to find job at sea after graduating from  the  Admiral Makarov State Maritime Academy.

Professor, Doctor of Economic Sciences, Vice-Principle of the Admiral Makarov State Maritime Academy Elena Lavrentieva, professor, head of the department of Heat engineering, marine boilers and auxiliary plants of the Admiral Makarov State Maritime Academy  Ivan Kostylev, Deputy Director for Construction and Operations of the North-Western Basin Branch of FSUE Rosmorport Tatyana Mikhailova, Deputy Director for Economics, Deputy Director for Economics and Finance of the North-Western Basin Branch of  FSUE "Rosmorport" Nadezhda Kalashnik, Head of Personnel Management Department of  OOO "Inok TM" Pavel Martynov were among the  attendants of the round table.

Modern women increasingly choose challenging, traditionally  male professions.  The effectiveness of their work in the maritime industry depends on the having of necessary skills and professional expertise, therefore employers should primarily be guided by these criteria while hiring, and not by the gender of an applicant. In this regard,  the speech of Svetlana Medvedeva from Samara, a captain of a tugboat, was very insightful, she told about her hard experience of struggling to win the right to work in maritime fleet according to the acquired qualifications.

Svetlana Kolganova, an expert on legal issues of the Seafarers' Union of Russia, spoke in her speech about the shortcomings in the regulation that hindering women from working on board vessels and about possible tools for protecting their rights. The union, aimed to defend the rights and protect the interests of seafarers, consists mostly of men. Nevertheless, there is a small percentage of women achieved quite success working in SUR. SUR Labor Inspector Olga Ananina from Novorossiysk and Chairman of the SUR Kaliningrad Territorial Organization Lyudmila Izmalkova spoke about  their work on par with men.

The participants of the round table noted the relevance of the stated topic, they expressed their commitment  to further participation in meetings in a similar format, as well as to sharing of any types of information and widening of positive experience through the media in order to once again highlight the significance and relevance of the maritime profession in modern realities.