To reduce the gender gap, Women Offshore connects women seeking mentoring with experienced seafarers.
Our mentor program, the Women Offshore MentorSHIP, virtually connects both mentors and mentees. This program is open to women anywhere in the world who have experience or currently work on the water in the maritime or offshore oil and gas industries. Cadets are especially welcome! We invite our community to sign up!!
The Women Offshore MentorSHIP would not be possible without dedicated mentors. They are talented women around the globe who are excelling in their careers. We value their knowledge and admire their experiences, grateful for the time they spend mentoring women emerging into the industry in our program.
Meet Captain Jessie Shifalo, a mentor at Women Offshore
Captain Jessie Shifalo joined the Women Offshore MentorSHIP last year as a mentor. She is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and an experienced mariner, having worked as chief mate and earning an unlimited captain’s license. Adding to her impressive career, Jessie made a leap from sea to shore a few years ago as a J.D. Candidate at Tulane University to study maritime law.
Recently, Jessie answered some questions about what it’s like to be a mentor. Below, she shared what she hoped to get out of the Women Offshore MentorSHIP, what her secret is to a good mentoring relationship, how mentoring has impacted her life, and advice to share with those new to mentoring.
Going into the program, what did you hope to get out of it? Are you on track to accomplish your goals?
“I went into the the program wanting to help other women in the maritime industry learn from my mistakes and from what I found worked for me. In an industry where women are such the minority, we need to stick together and help each other be the best we can and also, sometimes all it takes to achieve is knowing that someone is cheering you on.”
What do you think the ‘secret’ is to a good mentoring relationship?
“I think the ‘secret’ for me is being there in a way that my mentee needs me. Sometimes that is listening while they vent, sometimes that is offering advice, sometimes it is talking through problems with them. The entire point of the relationship is to help the mentee and trying to force your preconceived ideas on how the relationship should be does not always work.”
What is one way that mentoring has changed your professional or personal life – or someone else’s!?
“I know for myself, it helped give me a different perspective as a boss. Hearing from young women in the industry what their frustrations were with their bosses gave me more insight into how my actions as a boss could be received. I like to think that it made me a better boss and has helped me with making even more, widespread professional connections.”
Lastly – what tips or advice would you like to share with those new to mentoring?
“Really listen to your mentees and figure out how they need you. Each mentee will need different things out of the relationship and your role is to be there for them how they need you. So be prepared to be a friend, to give advice, to listen, and to help them navigate professional and personal issues.”
The Women Offshore MentorSHIP is powered by Mentorloop
Sign up for the Women Offshore MentorSHIP by clicking here. The application will close on Friday, January 29th, 2021 and will reopen in July 2021.
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.