Svitzer Hires First All-Female Tug Crew in Latin America


By The Maritime Executive 03-18-2019 06:30:26

Towage operator, Svitzer has hired its first all-female crew in the Dominican Republic.

The Svitzer Monte Cristi, a 70-ton tugboat, sails the waters of Rio Haina and Caucedo helping maneuver larger vessels so they can dock, undo or be driven through the channels.

"Many things that we presume to be done through physical force, in reality, only require technical intelligence and the right tools,” said Chief Engineer of Svitzer Monte Cristi, Marysabel Moreno. “Many may think that women do not have the ability to work on a powerful tug boat, but our crew has shown that this type of work is not exclusive to a specific gender. With dedication, it is very possible.”

Svitzer Monte Cristi is led by Captain Maria de los Santos, accompanied by Chief Engineer Marysabel Moreno and supported by sailors, Paloma Montero, Loreanni Torres and Juana Custodio.

The General Manager of Svitzer Caribbean, Captain Dickson Rivas and members of the executive board of the company pursued the project for two years, focusing their energy on training. Captain Eduard Medina said that the group was encouraged to live up to Svitzer standards, and today, all see the reward. “These women have become local icons for others and have proven to be an efficient and hardworking team,” he said.

Through this gender-inclusive initiative, Svitzer Americas seeks to change a historical trend, the navigation industry’s marital gender bias. According to The International Transport Worker's Federation, it is estimated that only two percent of the maritime workforce is made up of women, most of them employed on cruises and ferries. 

Globally, Svitzer employs 21 women in command and operational positions.