As the maritime industry has such a big impact on Singapore’s economy, it is important that it is well represented on the global stage.
Singapore has actively served in the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council since 1993, and chaired the IMO Council from 2001 to 2003. More than extensive experience and resources, it takes a combination of soft skills and industry know-how to represent the country and successfully champion safe, sustainable and efficient shipping practices.
MEET THE TRAILBLAZER
Mary Seet-Cheng, MPA Special Adviser and IMO Maritime Ambassador for Singapore Long before it was commonplace to see women in the maritime trade, Ambassador Mary Seet-Cheng was already playing an active part in the industry. She joined MPA as a director in 1997, after an illustrious career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Interacting with and learning about the experiences of shipowners and former seafarers was what I found most rewarding,” she says.
Since 2016, she has been the IMO Maritime Ambassador for Singapore, a role in which she works to attract more young people to the industry. She participates in dialogue events and visits youth groups and schools for face time with budding talents. One misconception she wants to dispel is that maritime jobs are “dirty and greasy”. She explains that today’s ships are high-tech machines that need to be manned by people with brains rather than brawn. And yes, women can thrive just as easily here as in other sectors. The challenge, she says, is to convince ship managers to take on women as members of their crew.
Blazer, Germain. Blouse and pinstripe pants, m.d.m.s. Earrings, Swarovski.