Women in the maritime industry celebrated

What do a Rear Admiral, a Maritime Lawyer and the Royal New Zealand Navy 2022 Sailor of the Year have in common?

LEGEND: Royal New Zealand Navy 2022 Sailor of the Year Leading Hand Jemma Hokai-Mataia addressed the gathering during the Women in Maritime session held on May 12 at the Sea Power Conference in Sydney.

All are women striving for greater gender equality in the maritime sector, particularly in the context of partnership and integration, and they shared their thoughts ahead of the inaugural day of the May 18 International Maritime Organization which recognizes the achievements of all women in the maritime sector.

The Royal Australian Navy hosted a panel on May 12 at the Sea Power at Indo-Pacific 2022 conference that addressed workforce challenges for women in the maritime sector.

With the session being the first of its kind at a Sea Power conference, the panel included the Navy’s Chief of Maritime Systems, Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm, Maritime Lawyer and President of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association Australia Alison Cusack and Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) Chief Marine Technician (Propulsion) Jemma Hokai-Mataia.

Rear Admiral Malcolm spoke of the opportunities for a small-town country girl, who not only achieved her rank, but did so after taking a career break from the private sector. This experience in the private sector gave him perspective on the environmental benefits of the Navy.

Ms. Cusack spoke candidly about the challenges that women face, but who do not necessarily have the privilege or the platform to raise these issues with a wider audience.

She spoke about the classification of women in the maritime industry and uniformity issues for the broader role that men can play.

Not only did Mrs. Cusack start reading homework, Invisible women by Caroline Criado Perez, she also instructed men to show courage, consistent with Defense values, by having one-on-one conversations with other men to advance gender equality.

Leader Jemma Hokai-Mataia provided an international perspective on the challenges and benefits of a diverse workforce, reinforcing Sea Power 2022’s theme of “one common goal”.

Leading Hand Hokai-Mataia has been consistently recognized as a leader in her field, with her latest award being RNZN 2022 Sailor of the Year.

Highlighting the role her father played in empowering her career choices, Leading Hand Hokai-Mataia said she sees the Navy as an opportunity to reach out and experience new and different things,

“I’ve served on ships and traveled to interesting places like Canada, while enjoying unique training and development opportunities. I love what I do and found what I was looking for in the maritime industry,” said Leading Hand Hokai-Mataia.

Rear Admiral Malcolm said it was an exciting time to work in the maritime industry.

“As one of the most modern navies in the world, we can provide incredible opportunities working with the latest platforms and technologies on, above and below the sea,” she said. .

“It is important that we create safe, flexible and inclusive workplaces when trying to attract, develop and retain talent in the maritime sector.”

There is a wide range of opportunities for women in the maritime industry, including in technical and non-traditional roles for women.

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