Portcities Southampton
UK * Bristol * Hartlepool * Liverpool * London * Southampton
*
You are here: PortCities Southampton > Sea People > Jobs at sea > Women at sea > Women at sea
* Text only * About this site * Site Map * Feedback
*
*
*
Explore this site
Start Here
About Us
Partners And Collections
Timeline
Get Interactive!
Help
Galleries
Image galleries
Biographies
Southampton
The Docks
River Itchen
Southampton at war
Flying Boats
Titanic
Finding Out More
Southampton speaks
Street Directories
Historic Buildings Survey
Registers and Records
Lloyd's Register
Official Sources
Other Records
Finding Out More
Wrecks and Accidents
Why accidents happen
Investigations
Improving Safety at Sea
Finding Out More
Wreck Reports
Life of a Port
How a port comes to life
At work in a port
Ports at play
Trade - lifeblood of a port
Finding Out More
On the Line
Company growth and development
Shipping lines
Transatlantic travel
Preparing a liner
Finding Out More
Sea People
Life at sea
Jobs at sea
Travelling by sea
Starting a new life by sea
Women and the sea
Finding Out More
Diversity of Ships
The variety of ships
What drives the ship?
Ships of ancient times
Ships in the age of sail
Ships of the steam age
Ships of today

Women at sea


Women at Sea

Ship`s hairdresser

Magnifying glassShip`s hairdresser

From being a stewardess or nursery nurse in 1930s to an engineering officer today. The future for women at sea has many more opportunities. 

From dining room to engine room

In this narrative officers and crew members have usually been referred to as `he`. This reflected the real situation at sea. Women at sea worked only as stewardesses, as nurses on ships with large numbers of passengers, and sometimes as cooks, or entertainers on passenger ships. Until quite recently, going to sea as a deck officer or engineer was seen as an exclusively male profession. 

Women in a radio room

Magnifying glassWomen in a radio room

In the last half century, this has changed. The lead may have come from the former Soviet Union, where women often had more freedom to take `male` jobs than in the west, including working at sea. In the UK, the Union-Castle Line began to employ women pursers, giving them the title `purserettes`. The next male preserve to fall to women was the radio officer, although this job has now practically disappeared. Today there is no technical barrier to women becoming deck or engineering officers. Nevertheless, most seafarers are still men, and ships often remain a masculine environment.

Southampton Speaks

audioLaundry girls (1:23)

audioSeeing film stars on the `Queen Mary` (0:38)



Help with sound
*
Search

Advanced Search
*
*
*
Southampton City Council New Opportunities Fund Lloyd's Register London Metropolitan Archives National Maritime Museum World Ship Society  
Legal & Copyright * Partner sites: Bristol * Hartlepool * Liverpool * London * Southampton * Text only * About this site * Feedback