Over the past week, we handed “the conn” over to Serena Webber-Bey to share her experiences as a Black female engineer in the maritime industry on our social media pages.
Little did we know when we arranged Serena’s social media takeover more than a month ago that this would be such a turbulent time for the Black community, as well as a monumental opportunity to address the underlying societal issues affecting Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). The racism and inequities affecting the world today also affect the industries that work on the water, so we felt it was important to allow Serena space and an uninterrupted platform to share her unique experiences as a Black female seafarer.
Thank you to Serena for sharing her career at sea, the good, bad, and ugly. We appreciate and admire her vulnerability as she discussed the experiences that shaped her career. She has been a role model to women everywhere, shining a light on hard work, motivation and resilience while navigating challenges on the water.
With Serena at the conn, we observed, listened, and read the responses. We admire our community, not only those who supported Serena’s testimonies, but also those who voiced their support of BIPOC, Blackout Tuesday, and Black Lives Matter. We saw people reaching out to BIPOC and numerous posts declaring action and support.
Sadly, we also received comments fueled by sexism and racism, which unfortunately is not new to the admins at Women Offshore. However, we were encouraged to see that with each hateful, divisive comment, there were several more positive comments and individuals willing to publicly call out bigotry in defense of minorities.
Here at Women Offshore, we champion women who work on the water and strive to be the change we want to see not just on the water, but in the world. While we are proud of what our non-profit organization has become in three short years, we know we can do more and be better. Voicing compassion for the injustices being suffered by BIPOC and advocating for change, checking in on our Black friends, supporting Black-owned businesses, donating to charities focused on reform, and reading up on anti-racism and how to be an ally to BIPOC is just a start.
Women Offshore stands in solidarity with BIPOC. Black lives matter, and we will continue to use our social media platform to empower and amplify marginalized voices on the water worldwide.
The Women Offshore Foundation is an online organization and resource center for a diverse workforce on the water. Its mission is to propel women into meaningful careers through access to a worldwide community and professional development resources, while raising awareness amongst industry leaders and decision makers about issues affecting women on the water. Contact Women Offshore today: firstname.lastname@example.org.