Abena Serwaa Opoku-Fosu, President, Ghana Chapter of Network of Professional Women in Port and Maritime Sector West and Central Africa, speaking at the function
Abena Serwaa Opoku-Fosu, President, Ghana Chapter of Network of Professional Women in Port and Maritime Sector West and Central Africa, speaking at the function

Women in maritime, port hold career clinic for female students

The Ghana Chapter of the Professional Women in Maritime and Port Sectors of West and Central Africa has celebrated this year’s International Day for Women in Maritime with a career clinic and mentorship programme for female students of the Tema Manhean Senior High Technical School.

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The International Day for Women in Maritime, which is commemorated on May 18, every year, was established by the International Maritime Organisation( IMO) as a step towards promoting diversity and inclusion in the maritime domain.

Apart from recognising and honouring the achievements of women, the day was set aside to advocate equal opportunities and unlock the full potential that a diverse workplace offers.

The theme for this year’s celebration, which was “Safe Horizons: Women Shaping the Future of Maritime Safety”; underscored the pivotal role women played in enhancing safety measures within the industry.

Members of the network spent the day at the Tema Manhean SHTS to offer mentorship to female students and to guide their career paths in subjects they chose to study. It was also to motivate and educate young girls to take an interest in the marine and port sector. 

As part of this year’s celebration, 10 female students of the Manhean SHTS were selected to undergo a two-year mentorship programme with members of the network. The primary objectives of the mentorship programme were to train young students to think creatively and to help them form a stronger knowledge foundation.

The best two students who emerge after their SHS education will be sponsored to pursue university education by the network.

Opportunities

The President of the Ghana Chapter of the Network, Abena Serwaa Opoku-Fosu, said one of the core objectives of the network was to create resource groups for mentorship and personal growth through cooperation, friendship, exchange of knowledge and the dissemination of information.

She indicated that women represented only 1.2 per cent of the global seafarer workforce. However, since 2015, there has been a 45.8 per cent increase in female seafarers—a positive trend, which she said was worth accelerating.

She said aside from seafaring, the maritime industry offered various career opportunities for women, adding that although the percentage of women in seafaring was still low, the gap was gradually being bridged with women working as ship captains, deck officers, engineers or crew members on ships. 

Barriers

The Tema Metropolitan Director of Education, Bernice Ofori commended members of the network, saying with this initiative, the maritime industry can break down barriers, attract top female talent and create a more diverse, innovative and successful workforce.

The Headmaster of the Tema Manhean SHTS, Samuel Obiri Benefo Agyei  commended the women for serving as worthy models and advised the selected students to partake in this mentorship programme to make full use of the opportunity offered them

Writer’s email: [email protected] 

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