Jun Kyoung Ok becomes first female captain of flag carrying ship of South Korea
Hyundai Merchant Marine announced that it appointed Jun Kyoung Ok, 38, as captain of the Hyundai Courage, an 8,600 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container ship currently sailing HMM's Korea Middle-East Express line.
This is the first time for a woman to hold the command of a Korean flag-carrying merchant vessel. HMM became the only Korean flag-carrying shipper after Hanjin Shipping was declared bankrupt in 2017.
“Just 10 years ago, it was unimaginable for a vessel to have a female captain, and I am very grateful to be the first female captain and HMM is the company that appointed her. Still, it is regrettable that it took nearly 30 years for me to become captain after entering the National Maritime & Ocean University, which is oftentimes regarded as off-limits to women. The ocean is still narrow for women, and I hope my appointment could break the practice of depriving opportunity or discriminating based on gender,” Jun Kyoung Ok said.
"After 10 years, I hope for society to become more equal to different genders, so more female mariners can maintain their jobs while raising children, and the appointment of a female captain does not make the news," she added.
The shipping industry largely has a male-dominated workforce, especially among ship officers. According to the International Maritime Organization, women represent only 2 percent of the world's 1.2 million seafarers, and 94 percent of female seafarers are working in the cruise industry.
Maritime Business World