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Odfjell promotes first female captain

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Picture of Anamika Talwaria

Anamika Talwaria

Editor & Head of Content for Tank Storage Magazine & StocExpo and Chair of Women in Tanks.

Odfjell has promoted Lise Henriksen to captain of Bow Sky, making history in the 109-year-old Norwegian chemical tanker company. She joined the company as a deck cadet in 2010, after completing a degree in nautical engineering at the University of Tromsø.

A woman in a captain's uniform smiling with a view of the port behind herSince then, her career has taken her onboard 10 different Odfjell vessels, including the Bow Mekka, Bow Sky, Bow Summer, Bow Hercules, Bow Explorer, and others, as she has risen through the ranks. From third officer to second officer, and then chief officer in 2019, Henriksen’s  dedication to her profession has led her to the prestigious role of captain.

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‘On behalf of Odfjell, I congratulate Lise on her well-deserved promotion and thank her for paving the way for women in the maritime industry. Her expertise and leadership abilities have led her to this prestigious role – a historic appointment at Odfjell and in an international maritime field currently dominated by men. We are thrilled that we have arrived at a goal we have been systematically pursuing to reach for a long time: To appoint the first female captain,’ says CEO Harald Fotland.

Read more: Esma Gulten, CEO of Gizil, shares her Women in Tanks story

In a male-dominated industry, Henriksen stands out as a trailblazer, though there is still considerable work to be done to achieve true gender equality in the shipping industry. A member survey from the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association from 2020 revealed that only 15% of leaders in the maritime industry are women. Among seafarers the number is even lower: a mere 7%, which is less than one in ten. ‘I think my appointment demonstrates that the business is on the right track, so it’s a good thing and I’m very excited. On a personal level however, I have to confess that I could do without all the fuss and attention,’ says Henriksen.

Read Henriksen’s full interview here

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