This content is an extract of an interview by the Human Resources Sectorial Committee of the Maritime Industry.
Portraits of Women in the Marine Industry
Let’s get to know these women who’ve had the courage and desire to take a different path by choosing a non-traditional marine career… women who dove headfirst into a world traditionally reserved for men and who, today, are our industry’s pride and joy. Make way for our female ambassadors!
“ Marine careers are extremely enriching. If you’re considering this path, go for it. Don’t limit yourself. Times have changed, women definitely have a place aboard ships!”
At age 33, Catherine Lapointe already has almost 10 years’ experience in the marine industry, with nearly 7 years at sea. Hers is, without a doubt, a success story bound to inspire young would-be marine-sector workers. With a college degree in navigation from the Institut maritime du Québec and the highest possible navigation certificate—Master Mariner—Catherine’s career path commands respect and admiration.
Currently Senior Manager, Transportation Services with Canada Steamship Lines (CSL), Catherine heads a department that manages a 20-vessel fleet that will soon be growing. With the constructions of six new ships scheduled for 2013-2014, CSL is gradually renewing its fleet with state-of-the-art vessels. Given this expansion, Catherine’s major responsibilities will grow but she seems to be well in control of the demands of her job.
Catherine’s all-round experience includes navigation, a field she has been interested in since childhood. Coming from a family of sailors, she has always been fascinated by the marine sector and everything related to it. Her father, who sailed as Chief Engineer and taught at the Institut maritime du Québec, introduced her to the sea and shared his love for it. “I couldn’t imagine not working in the marine industry. I can’t see myself doing anything else!”, she confides.
Her love for the sea has helped her overcome even the toughest challenges and remain passionate about her profession and the unforgettable memories attached to it. “There’s nothing as beautiful as a starry night at sea. You can’t see a sky like that anywhere else. A calm ocean and starlit sky are magical, creating a breathtaking landscape… it’s just spectacular!ˮ, she says dreamily.