The Balearic nautical employers welcomes the decision of the International Maritime Organization to dedicate the 18th of May to recognize the fundamental contribution of women to the various industries related to the sea. Although in the sector there are more and more women in management, business management, chartering, boat sales and marine engineering, there is a lack of women electricians, painters, car-painters, mechanics, etc…
Palma, 17th May. AENIB, as Balearic nautical employers, celebrates and fully shares the decision of the International Maritime Organization to declare May 18th as “International Day of Women in the Maritime Sector”, recognizing and giving visibility to the fundamental female contribution to the various industries related to the sea.
This date does not have much history, as it was just before the pandemic, in 2019, when the International Maritime Organization (IMO) chose that every 18th of May should be celebrated as International Women in Maritime Day. Thanks to this decision, women seafarers now have a day that recognises their contribution in all areas of the sector, as well as promoting recruitment, retention and sustained employment for them. At the same time it gives them visibility, especially trying to cooperate to advance and achieve concrete results in gender equality.
“It is a very positive initiative, the truth is that it is a sector in which, although there are many women working, they do not always have enough visibility. In the case of the Balearic nautical sector, dominated by micro-enterprises and self-employed, it is very common for the technician to be a man, but behind him there is often a woman doing all the management and business management work that is not so visible: buying material, managing collections, keeping the accounts, etc. And all this, combining it with family life,” says Margarita Dahlberg, honorary president of AENIB who held the presidency of the Balearic nautical employers’ association for two decades and one of the first women in the Balearic Islands to obtain a higher level of vocational training in electronics. “Although there are many women in the sector in areas such as management, commercial departments, charter and sale of boats, and there are more and more marine engineers, the unfinished business is still to increase the female presence in technical positions in the sector. There is a lack of female electricians, carpenters, painters, mechanics, etc. We call on women to be encouraged to train professionally for these traditionally male jobs, where there is a great professional opportunity,” she adds.
“About 20 years ago it was rare to find women in management positions in the sector. Today there are many more women in management positions, and you can see that at conferences and trade shows,” says Diane Franklin of e3 Systems, who has been working in the marine industry for 20 years. “I think this is the result of a combination of legislation, cultural changes, education and training on equality issues.
In her opinion, “there are plenty of career opportunities for women in the industry, especially in the yachting niche. You only have to look at the number of companies offering services to superyachts (construction, repair, maintenance, electronics, telecommunications, sales, charter, shipyards, marinas, fuel suppliers, wine distribution, concierge, etc.). It is a very interesting sector, which includes many professions and continues to grow,” he says.
The key, in her opinion, is to “educate and inform girls about the possibilities offered by the sector. These young women need examples of female role models. We need to promote the sector even more, as the Balearics are a reference point for the yachting sector. We also need to ensure that our companies offer flexibility at work and that we recognise the importance of work-life balance,” she stresses.
“Finally, I have to say that AENIB is a role model. I have been a member for many years, and over these years we have always had women leaders and role models making decisions. If this were replicated in all companies, we could say that we have achieved full equality,” says Diane.
The Balearic nautical sector, in fact, has very valuable women in key positions of responsibility, such as Tina Campins (Nova Náutica), Velislava Ilieva (Astilleros de Mallorca), Francisca Ángel (Metalnox), Dora (Veles Tot Vent), Xisca Aguiló and Inma Ruiz (Escuela del Mar), Kika Llull and Marta Vaquer (Jaume Vermell náutica), Isabel Flores (Azul Yachts), Ana Dalmau (Mercanáutic), Maena Salom (Nautipaints), Patricia Bullock (Network Marine Consul-tants), Ana Ripoll (Links Marine), Silja Teege (Sea Tech), Liz Singelton (Echo Marine), Tra-cey Furness