Day of the Seafarer: Marine shipping industry needs more women

June 25, 2019 – For Third Mate Denna Trachsel, joining the commercial marine shipping industry and the crew of the Algoma Discovery was an easy choice.

“It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to navigate a ship through different challenging waters and channels,” the 27-year-old explains. She goes on to list a number of other attractions –  good pay, excellent career advancement opportunities, the unique workplace environment. “My favourite place is down in the Seaway near Brockville, the 1000 islands. You can’t beat that view. We’re getting paid to see views that others pay to see.”

Despite Denna’s enthusiasm and the many perks marine shipping offers, however, women remain underrepresented, especially onboard ships. Today, women represent only two percent of the world’s 1.2 million seafarers.

To help increase these numbers, the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization has made the theme of its annual Day of the Seafarer celebrated today, “I am On Board with Gender Equality,” with a social media campaign designed for both men and women to show their solidarity for gender equality in seafaring.

Canadian shipowners as well as international shipping organizations have launched new initiatives to highlight career opportunities for women as well as the contributions they are already making in a wide range of maritime professions. The push comes as the Canadian shipping industry faces a critical labour shortage.

Read our latest article for more information about what the Chamber of Marine Commerce’s members are doing and for case studies on women working aboard vessels in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping industry.

Photos can be downloaded at:

 About the Chamber of Marine Commerce

The Chamber of Marine Commerce is a bi-national association that represents more than 130 marine industry stakeholdersincluding major Canadian and American shippers, ports, terminals and marine service providers, as well as domestic and international ship owners. The Chamber advocates for safe, sustainable, harmonized and competitive policy and regulation that recognizes the marine transportation system’s significant advantages in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, Coastal and Arctic regions.

Media Contact:

Julia Fields

Chamber of Marine Commerce