March 08, 2021

On March 8, we commemorate the International Women's Day, celebrating their role in society, both personally and professionally. As every year, BOURBON joins in the celebration of this day by publishing the testimonials of several of its female employees, both on land and at sea. Portraits of life...

"At Offshore, interesting, talented women who have chosen to challenge the status quo in the profession...".

Yes, offshore is a male dominated environment, but that's what makes my mission particularly interesting. In being part of the team that is responsible for hiring/managing the workforce, I am playing a leadership, driving role in creating a niche for the women-folk in an industry that is perceived as ‘male dominated’. It has not been easy, it comes with its routine challenges but these challenges could also apply to men as well, so I have learnt to not focus necessarily on the industry as being a masculine industry, but rather, as a fast paced, ever changing, team driven industry.

When the drive came to hire female seafarers, the process of sourcing, interviewing and actually recruiting women for assignment to our Surfer Fleet was an interesting time for Human Resources, we got to meet young, interesting, talented, career oriented ladies who wanted to pursue a career at the offshore. Speaking with these ladies, understanding their motivation and focus on building a name for themselves in an otherwise male oriented environment, gave me the view that truly there was nothing a man could do that a woman could not also do and that these young ladies had chosen to challenge the status quo in the profession… This is important to note that they are the exception to the rule, especially because the theme for the 2021 International Women’s Day is #Choose to Challenge. I am excited to have been part of such an innovative, creative idea to push for women to take on seafaring as a career

Christine ONYEGBULE - HR Manager - Bourbon Interoil Nigeria


"Every work day is different and challenging! »

I am a mechanical engineer in offshore and onshore systems. All my later qualifications are also related to the maritime field. In my family, we build our lives around the marine industry but I chose this job because I always loved it.

I enjoy all technical topics, crew and vessel related, mostly PMP’s, (Period of Planned Maintenance). I love to see the work in progress, meeting with the crew, having lunch together, talking with yard directly, everything about that feels right. Every work day is different and challenging!

I evolve in a male environment, it's sometimes difficult, but in the offshore industry, people are different, are different than in other masculine industries, they do not do gender discrimination much and sometimes they are actually glad to have a more diversified working environment.

Raluca NECULAI - Project Engineer - Bourbon Black Sea


"I have no problem to work in a male industry. The important thing is to be competent".

I haven't always worked in the offshore industry, I have known other industries in the past. I chose Bourbon for the company's good reputation in the offshore business and prospects for professional growth within the company.

I am graduated in Chemical Engineering and have a postgraduate degree in Quality System. It was this specialization that brought me to the offshore industry.

My job requires good organizational skills. It also allows me to interact with employees at all levels of the company. Evolving in a male industry does not pose any problem for me. What needs to be noticed is my competence and in the day-to-day, the difference between the sexes does not prevent the interactions to carry out the activities.

An outstanding memory? rewarding time achieving certification and subsequent maintenance of the ISO 9001, 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISM code.

Teresa CRUZ - Quality Coordinator - Bourbon Offshore Maritima


"My colleagues consider me first and foremost as a seafarer, that's the most important thing."

I grew up in Normandy (North-West of France), not far from the sea. I do not come from a family of seafarers but I discovered sailing with my father, and I quickly decided to make it my profession. For me, the sea was synonymous with freedom. I obtained a certificate of Captain 200 with the desire to sail, cross the Atlantic, do convoying, etc. During my last contract, I skippered a 61-foot catamaran for 3 years. I lived in the West Indies for 10 years as a skipper. I am curious by nature, I also wanted to discover the offshore world. So I returned to mainland France to take my 500 and 750 kW Captain's license, before joining BOURBON to become a Surfer pilot in Angola.

There are 2 seafarers on board the Surfer, a AB and myself, but as the vessel is in permanent operation, we are a double crew, housed on a barge of about 600 people, of which only 4 women. The very first time, I confess I had a little apprehension but everything always went very well with my colleagues! I suffered much more from stereotypes ashore: when I said I worked in the maritime industry, people thought I was a hostess! With my colleagues, it's different: they consider me above all as a seafarer, that's the main thing.

Sylvie FINCK - Surfer Pilot

Bourbon behind the scenes