International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year. This is the perfect opportunity to recognize the exemplary work of our sisters and thank them for their vital contribution to the Union and seafaring as a whole.
In 2019, the theme of this special day is #BalanceforBetter. More than ever, gender balance is essential to the prosperity of the marine industry. At the SIU of Canada, we believe in offering the same opportunities to all our members, regardless of gender. This is one of the many reasons why Samantha McPherson is proud to be part of the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada.
It was in 2018 that Samantha started considering a career at sea. In search of new challenges, she got into the Unlicensed Apprentice Program last August. Although she grew up near the canal, she never thought of becoming a seafarer. “I knew many people who were working on ships, and I remember telling them that I could never do that.”
However, her opinion changed after completing the UA Program, which proved to be a unique experience for Samantha. After learning more about seafaring, she developed a true interest in the marine industry.
“The job is so different from boat to boat that you’re always learning. Plus, the crew is always happy to help you and show you new things.”
In October 2018, Samantha began her career as a mechanical assistant with the SIU. She loves her job. Every day is a new opportunity to learn and refine her skills. What she loves most is the atmosphere and the team spirit aboard the ship.
“The truth is, I get treated so well and everyone is very respectful. It doesn’t matter that I’m a woman. I’m part of the crew like everyone else. I really feel like I have the same opportunities as the other guys and I love it.”
Samantha feels accomplished as a mechanical assistant. She loves her routine, her team and the fact that she has a lot of opportunities to develop her expertise. She encourages other women to strongly consider a career at sea.
“If you are willing to work hard, to get your hands dirty and to learn, this is the job for you. There are so many opportunities for women, which is super exciting. Don’t believe the stigma that you will be treated differently because you are a woman. If this is the only thing preventing you from joining, just forget about it and make the jump.”