By Chloe Russell, Communication Officer
Ahoy there, maritime enthusiasts! Get ready to embark on a journey of celebration as we honour Women in Maritime Day on May 18, 2023. At the Thames Estuary Partnership (TEP), we're proud of our talented and dedicated team of women who are making a positive impact on the estuary and its communities. Let's meet these inspiring women: Heather, Amy, Wanda, Alice, Chloe, Maryam, and Yomi. Along the way, we'll explore the challenges women face and the exciting opportunities that await for women in the maritime industry.
Throughout history, women have played crucial roles in maritime industries, from managing households and businesses to even taking on the adventures of pirates. However, it wasn't until the 20th century that women began to gain recognition as professional mariners. In the UK, a group of trailblazing women challenged the law in 1976, allowing women to serve at sea. Despite progress, women still face obstacles in the male-dominated maritime world.
Although the maritime industry remains predominantly male, there is room for change. Women make up only 2% of the world's maritime workforce. They encounter challenges such as discrimination, limited access to training and career development, and work-life balance issues. But there are also exciting opportunities for women in maritime, including addressing environmental challenges and embracing new technologies and digitalisation.
Now, let's meet the inspiring women leading the Thames Estuary Partnership. Heather Hilburn, our Chief Executive, brings extensive experience in environmental management. Amy Pryor, our Technical Director, is an expert in marine ecology and fisheries management. Wanda Bodnar, our Data and Training Manager, ensures effective data analysis and knowledge sharing. Alice Watts, as the National Coordinator for the Coastal Partnership Network, promotes best practices for coastal management. Chloe Russell, our Communications Officer, drives outreach and storytelling efforts. Maryam Abdalla, our Finance Manager, manages the team's finances effectively. And Yomi Odunlami, our Learning and Engagement Manager, focuses on educational programs and community engagement. Together, they work towards the sustainable development and management of the Thames Estuary.
At the Thames Estuary Partnership, we recognise the vital role women play in the maritime industry. We're committed to supporting and empowering women, both within our team and throughout the industry. We celebrate their achievements and the achievements of women worldwide in the maritime sector.
Looking to the future, we see tremendous opportunities for women in maritime. We can embrace new technologies, address environmental challenges, and create a more inclusive and equitable industry. To achieve this, we must break down gender stereotypes and ensure equal access to training and career development.
Join us in celebrating Women in Maritime Day and recognising the incredible contributions of women in the maritime industry. Together, we can build a brighter future—a future where gender equality prevails and our oceans and coasts thrive sustainably.
Set sail with us on this momentous day, applauding the achievements of women in maritime and charting a course towards a world where everyone can pursue their dreams on the seas.
Happy Women in Maritime Day!