Pauline SEMEY, Chief Engineer – LDA
1) What has been your career path so far?
With a monovalent machine training course, I made my first maritime navigation on board chemical tankers of Maersk Tankers as a student, then as a 3rd engineer. Following a redundancy plan, I continued my career in various positions (from 3rd to chief engineer) within the company Louis Dreyfus Armateurs on ro-ro ships (transport of parts for Airbus) and mainly cable ships (repair of submarines communications cables).
2) Could you tell us more about your current role / your missions?How did your position evolve in the Group?
As chief engineer, I am responsible for the operation and technical maintenance of the entire vessel.
I joined LDA in 2014 as 3rd engineer. After a few years, I replaced second engineers before being stabilized in this function in 2018. Since 2021, I have now held the position of chief engineer.
3) What do you like the most in this job?
Diversity at all levels: the type of ship, the different equipment on board, the places of navigation, the multi-cultural crews… no boarding is ever the same.
4) Could you name 3 must-have qualities for this job?
Adaptability, perseverance, open-mindedness.
5) What is your motto?
There are no men or women on a ship, only seafarers!
6) If you could give some advice to a woman wishing to pursue a career in the maritime industry, what would it be?
Choosing to become a seafarer is more than choosing a job, it is choosing a way of life. Given the life it implies, it is not possible to do it out of spite; you have to be ready to be away from your loved
ones for several months, without having access to the same means and facilities of communication you would have onshore. Even if today, thanks to the internet, things have progressed.
You must succeed in exceeding the many prejudices suffered by the industry, historically known as a hard profession and reserved for men. This is not always easy, as at present the vast majority of positions of responsibility on board are still occupied by men who can be very conservative.
It is then necessary to persevere and keep your self-confidence, not to let yourself be destabilized. It’s a job where you have to be prepared to do a bit of everything, to show great adaptability due to the diversity of the equipment, the situations encountered, the multi-cultural crews with whom you work, but also the type of navigation. You also have to stand being the only woman on board, even if it is increasingly rare, it still happens regularly. In the vast majority of cases, the men appreciate the presence of women on board and readily admit that the atmosphere and the discussions are much better when we are there.