Female cadets in Columbia making strides in the maritime industry

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The maritime industry is experiencing a significant shift towards gender equality, with initiatives like Columbia Group’s female cadet mentoring program leading the way. Despite the progress made, challenges remain in achieving true gender equality in the sector. Claudia Paschkewitz, the Director of Sustainability, Inclusivity, and Diversity at Columbia Group, emphasized the importance of their mentorship program in supporting women onboard and addressing these challenges.

While many male colleagues are supportive and helpful towards female cadets, there are instances where outdated views and resistance to change hinder women from fully showcasing their capability. Paschkewitz highlighted the need for responsible ship managers to work with crew members to change these attitudes and create a more inclusive environment in the maritime industry. Despite these obstacles, female cadets like Mico Clidoro remain resilient and see these challenges as opportunities to prove their worth.

Support systems like Columbia’s female cadetship program not only offer practical advice and career guidance but also provide crucial psychological support to women in the maritime sector. Clinical Psychologist Julia Oppermann emphasized the importance of such programs in empowering women and advancing diversity in the industry. Paschkewitz called for the industry to continue evolving and actively dismantle barriers to inclusion, recognizing the invaluable contributions of women for the future of maritime. It is a collective responsibility to ensure that the tide of change in the maritime industry is moving in the right direction towards greater gender equality.

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