Alumnae of the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) in Mariveles, Bataan have a greater chance to overcome the challenges in their gender and thrive in the traditionally male-dominated seafaring profession.
During the recent webinar hosted by Seaversity, Dr. Angelica M. Baylon, director of External Relations of MAAP got the chance to share the secret to that as well as the maritime institution’s efforts to help its women graduates surmount the barriers in seafaring.
Seaversity, a technology provider and enabler company focused on education and training systems, staged the webinar Women in Maritime on March 29 to commemorate March as International Women’s Month.
Dr. Baylon said, as a matter of policy, MAAP constantly encourages its women graduates to continue with their careers for them to get promoted to become captains and chief engineers.
Moreover, MAAP female graduates enjoy an important advantage over their counterparts from other maritime schools. “Our women cadets can perform the 55 key performance indicators required by shipping companies,” Dr. Baylon declared proudly.
Operated by the Associated Marine Officers and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), the maritime school was fortunate to be part of a project funded by the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) that sought to promote equal opportunities to women seafarers in the seafaring profession.
“MAAP was part of the IAMU-funded Gender Equality and Cultural Awareness in Maritime Education and Training or GECAMET project.” The MAAP official explained that the GECAMET study identified 55 key performance indicators that shipping companies wanted to see for them to recruit, retain and promote their seafarers.
“This means that women graduate (of MAAP) would be able to deliver or show their ability (to perform) the required competencies; so the decision to employ or promote them would be easier,” Dr. Baylon pointed out.
The approach appeared to be effective. MAAP now has a sizable, if not the most, number of active women marine officers. At present, it has an active master mariner and several chief marine engineers onboard oceangoing ships.
Moreover, Dr, Baylon said the GECAMET study proposed the term gendering shipping, which represents a supportive response from shipping companies in hiring and empowering female seafarers for the next generation of women seafarers.
The move is to change gradually the outlook especially of shipowners towards women seafarers.
On top of these initiatives, she added that “MAAP practices consistency, transparency, inclusivity, and diversity and uses gender-neutral innovative approaches to eliminate biases in campus to make it safe and secure from gender discrimination.
Aside from Dr. Baylon, other women guests at the Seaversity webinar include Dr. Teresita P. Pareja, head of General Education of Magsaysay Maritime Academy; KC Abigail Chin, a Filipina marine officer and content creator (KC Seafarer TV); Karen Leslie Esguerra, a mother and an Electro-Technical Officer onboard; two maritime students from the University of St. Anthony in Iriga City and Philippine Merchant Marine Academy in San Narciso, Zambales.