Women in the Marine Sector
There are many career pathways in the marine sector, but do you know what they are? Women, especially, are not encouraged to pursue these jobs. In this panel, six of the industry’s leading women professionals will share with high school and university students their experiences, challenges and opportunities, and will offer the chance to learn more about this essential and fascinating field.
Alexandra Aguilar del ValleFounder and Consultant, Green Nautical Miles
Alexandra is passionate about ocean protection and sustainable growth. Her professional experience in global trade has been oriented to integrate sustainability into daily business and strategic decision making.
With studies in Maritime law and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, she focuses her efforts on transforming how we have traditionally seen the maritime industry through Green Nautical Miles, an initiative that promotes low carbon strategies, conservation, and women’s participation in the maritime industry.
Amanda SladeMarine Safety Inspector, Transport Canada
Amanda Slade is a Master Mariner, mother and grandmother who currently works for Transport Canada as a Marine Safety Inspector. First earning a wage at the age of 16 as a tall ship cook, she graduated from Georgian College in 1984 with a Diploma in Navigation Technology and solid experience on Great Lakes cargo ships. A big ship career took a back seat in the 90’s as she juggled boats and babies; first working as a Captain on harbor ferries, then managing commercial diving operations for the city of Toronto. With the children older Amanda joined the international cruise industry which took her to Miami, the UK and Norway. She has also worked shoreside in ship management roles as Auditor, Nautical Superintendent, Safety Manager and Company Security Officer. After returning to Canada and a short role with the Transportation Safety Board she refreshed her seagoing expertise in the Offshore Oil & Gas industry including survey work in the deep water of Newfoundland’s Flemish Pass. In 2016 Amanda began teaching during breaks from trips at sea, first with Georgian College, Camosun College and ultimately full time with Western Maritime Institute. She has written an essay for the Journal of Ocean Technology and a marine safety textbook. Amanda volunteers with the Master Mariners of Canada, The Nautical Institute, the International Shipmasters Association and most recently her local volunteer Fire Department.
Cdr Suzanne AppletonCommander, Royal Canadian Navy
Suzanne is a Commander in the Royal Canadian Navy in the Naval Technical Officer occupation. Her love for the sea and the marine environment was fostered at a young age but really solidified during her time as a teenager with the Toronto Brigantine tall ship sail training program. Throughout her career, Suzanne has had the privilege of gaining extensive technical leadership experience through numerous projects and programs on topics such as engineering support, technical trials, HR, Environment, IT and innovation. This professional path contributes to ensuring that RCN sailors have the equipment and systems they need to protect and secure Canada’s three coasts. Some of her career highlights include operations at sea, representing Canada at NATO fora, advancing women and BIPOC in STEM, and being part of an award-winning project team.
Dana TremblayManager, Talent Strategies, BC Ferries
Dana Tremblay is a Talent Strategist; utilizing skills developed during her more than 20 years as an executive recruiter with diverse experience across the public and private sectors throughout North America. Dana is a seasoned talent management professional with specialized competence in talent management, executive recruitment, recruitment operations and on-boarding. In her role as Manager, Talent Strategies at BC Ferries, she provides a humanistic approach to talent strategies in order to align individuals and their talents with organizational uniqueness. Her focus is on building high functioning, cohesive teams who truly enjoy their work through aligned recruitment, orientation, on-boarding and employee development programs
Elisabeth CharmleyOcean & Naval Architect, Seaspan Corporation; Photographer
Born in British Columbia and immersed in the coastal sailing culture from a young age, Elisabeth always had an innate love of ships and being on the water. She’s not sure which I loved more, sailing or photography, but as she grew, so did her passion and skill in both. She has worked across Canada, Europe and Asia, visiting ships in dry dock as an owner’s representative for the structural survey as part of their class renewal. When she’s not on site she takes pleasure in supporting a fleet of 107 operating containerships with her naval architecture expertise and extensive knowledge of ship operations. In the eight years she’s been with her current employer, she’s been on emergency response teams for operational issues, led projects that supported millions of dollars worth of upgrades and retrofits for the ships which have resulted in massive energy savings, as well as led project teams and travelled internationally to advance and innovate how her company does business. With a passion for professional development, Elisabeth currently holds the seat of Vice President, Canada West, for the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) and is a member of their Futures & Technology Committee for the Alternative Fuels advisory group.
Melanie NadeauChief Executive Officer, Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE)
Melanie Nadeau is Chief Executive Officer for the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE). An award-winning Canadian businesswoman and trailblazer, Melanie leads and grows organizations by developing strategies to gain market confidence, drive investments, deliver profits and achieve operational success. An internationally recognized thought-leader in the ocean sector, she offers a global perspective and has been a notable expert for the International Energy Agency, the United Nations Environment Programme and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Since serving in the Royal Canadian Navy, she continues her deep appreciation for our oceans.