MACN Celebrates International Day for Women in Maritime!

As we celebrate International Day for Women in Maritime this Saturday, we honor the remarkable contributions of women in the maritime industry. Hear from MACN’s CEO, Cecilia Müller Torbrand, about the importance of inclusivity in the industry, and her advice to women aspiring to pursue a career in the maritime sector.


1. What inspired you to pursue a career in maritime? 

I came into the shipping industry by chance. During my final year of law school, I needed to pick a third course and I thought the maritime law course sounded interesting. This (fateful) decision then morphed into a thesis on environmental law and shipping. As a newly graduated law student, I was very pleased to take up a position covering environmental law with Maersk. Since then, I haven’t looked back and I continue to be fascinated by the shipping industry, its global reach, and the role it plays in delivering 90% of the goods we use in our daily lives.

2. What more can the industry do to inspire young females to see maritime as a career choice?

Shipping, and the wider maritime logistics sector, offer career paths and opportunities like few other industries – but we are not good at collectively articulating the value and benefits that are on offer. Shipping is much more than just boiler suits and distant ships. The sector is going through a period of significant generational, technological, and environmental change. The industry needs women and men with new perspectives and skills to drive it forward. The potential to have a genuine impact is certainly there

3. Have you experienced or witnessed instances of gender discrimination or bias in your workplace, and if so, how have you navigated them?

Shipping is a heavily male-dominated industry and, over my career, I have seen many examples and manifestations of discrimination – some obvious and some less so. But I have also had fantastic mentors – both women and men – who have helped me develop my skills and a successful career.  My advice to women looking to enter the shipping industry: You need to take space and believe in yourself. You are building and creating your future and you need to find and create your own voice to be successful.

4. What role do you believe women can play in driving positive change and enhancing safety measures within the maritime industry?

Yes, we need a more diverse industry – a global industry requires a diverse pool of people – different genders, cultures, and skills foster innovation. Across the industry, safety is a central theme and focus for ship owners and managers. The more views and voices we have, the safer the industry!

5. What advice would you give to other women aspiring to enter or advance in the maritime sector?

Find your own voice – trust in your skills and opinion.  You will not always treated differently because you are a woman, sometimes other perceptions, experiences, and culture will carry the day. Don’t jump too quickly to conclusions.