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Celebrating International Day for Women in Maritime

The United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) celebrates May 18th as the annual International Day for Women in Maritime. At GCE Blue Maritime Cluster, we recognize the importance and impact of diversity in our industry. To mark this day, women from our maritime cluster have shared their experiences and advice for young women considering a career in the sector.

Blue Maritime Cluster
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According to IMO, “the day celebrates women in the industry and is intended to promote the recruitment, retention, and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector, raise the profile of women in maritime, strengthen IMO’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality), and support work to address the current gender imbalance in maritime.”

 Diversity and opportunities

The maritime sector is a highly competitive international industry facing green and digital transformations. Success in these areas requires skilled professionals from the entire workforce. It's essential that Norwegian maritime workplaces remain attractive to both new entrants and those already in the industry.

The government's 2023 "Equality Strategy for the Maritime Industry" aims to strengthen gender equality and diversity, ensuring the sector can attract talent and maintain its competitive edge in a changing market.

Engage, contribute, seize opportunities, and challenge both yourself and those around you. As a woman, dare to sit at the table and believe that you can make a difference!

GCE Blue Maritime Cluster recognizes women's importance and impact in our industry. Last year, we observed a 22% female participation rate in our events, a figure we are committed to increasing. Our event, "Diversity and opportunities in the maritime industry," earlier this year, highlighted how diversity is crucial for the cluster's competitiveness and explored the numerous opportunities within the maritime sector

Advice from women in the maritime cluster

To mark International Women's Day in Maritime, we asked several women from our maritime cluster to share their experiences and advice for young women considering a career in the sector. Their responses were insightful and inspiring:

Anne Seth, Innovation Leader at NTNU, provides a comprehensive guide for success:

1.        Be yourself. The industry needs your new perspectives.

2.        Collaborate well with people of different ages, disciplines, cultures, and backgrounds.

3.        Master languages, as the industry is international, with English often being the working language.

4.        Embrace tasks you haven't done before – think of it as learning and growth.

5.        Take initiative and bring new ideas; they are appreciated.

6.        Engage in interest and network organizations.

7.        Seek mentorship from experienced colleagues; it's mutually beneficial.

8.        Be generous, share knowledge, and recognize others' achievements.

9.        Be a team player and take pride in collective achievements.

10.  Remember that all experiences have value; we learn from successes and setbacks.

Maja Huse, Digital Content Creator at Brunvoll:

“As someone new to the maritime industry, my main impression is that there are countless entry points and careers. The industry is exciting, with innovation in technology and sustainability, and there is a high demand for candidates with maritime-specific education.”


Ann Katrin Barstad, Manager Design at Ulstein:

“The maritime industry is very exciting, with much happening right now. Diversity has gained increased focus, and while the industry was once seen as male-dominated, new perspectives and skills are constantly being introduced. Whether you are a technologist, engineer, or involved in other roles such as finance or HR, there are many opportunities for both women and men. Engage, contribute, seize opportunities, and challenge yourself and those around you. As a woman, dare to sit at the table and believe you can make a difference!”


Marielle Furnes Mannseth, Group Brand & Sustainability Officer at Norwegian Hydrogen:

“Be bold enough to seek opportunities, engage, and seize the chances that come your way. Explore international opportunities if they arise – they can provide valuable experience and an advantage.”


Julia Rohr-Torp Fluck, student, NTNU:

There are so many different opportunities in the maritime industry that don't necessarily require relevant maritime experience; so don't let a lack of maritime education or background stop you!

Malin Hjelle Andersen, Production Planner, VARD:

“Don’t hesitate to say yes, even if you don’t feel 100% qualified. Opportunities will open up, and I promise you won’t regret it.”

Be bold enough to seek opportunities, engage, and seize the chances that come your way 

Juuni Elisabeth Vatne, Head of Marketing at GCE Blue Maritime Cluster:

"The maritime industry is incredibly diverse and offers a wide range of opportunities. Embrace challenges, even those that seem complex and daunting, as they will provide valuable insights and learning opportunities. Effective communication and collaboration are key to success; share your knowledge and experience, help and acknowledge others. Support each other, work together, and take pride in what you achieve as a team."

The International Day for Women in Maritime highlights the essential role of women in the maritime industry, emphasizing diversity, collaboration, and continuous learning as key drivers of progress. Also emphasized above is the importance of embracing challenges, engaging with colleagues across disciplines, and fostering inclusivity to achieve success and innovation.

At GCE Blue Maritime Cluster, we support these initiatives and aim to continue promoting an exciting and inclusive maritime community.