Dockers & Seafarers

Maritime Roundtable 2016:
Montreal, Canada 20-23 September

Women seafarers – encouraging more women to go to sea!

Becky SleeperMy name is Becky Sleeper, I am a port agent in St Louis for the North American Seafarers’ International Union (SIU) and I have 27 years of union experience. Women seafarers with long experience at sea can influence young women to choose this extraordinary vocation. It is indeed hard work, but with unions standing right next to them and serving as a constant support, it can lead to an exciting and fulfilled life – for women and for men. At the age of 28 I became the first female official for the union and was sent on a mission to Illinois to help organise the casino boats. It was an exciting experience. Slowly but surely I worked my way up and today I represent SIU. I keep learning and growing. It’s a great life and anyone can do it. My son went to college for a year, returned home and said that it wasn’t the life for him. He asked me if he could go to sea. Of course, I said, you can go to sea, and the same thing I’ve said to my 15-year-old daughter, who expressed the same wish. Anyone who wants the best of life – go to sea!

Submitted by: Becky Sleeper

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