Filipina Becomes Masterbulk’s First Female Deck Officer

In what many people consider as a historic move both for the company and the maritime industry, Masterbulk Pte. Ltd. promoted Joan Gift Mandafe as the company’s first female deck officer. 
Mandafe, who is currently assigned to MV Panamana, is part of Masterbulk’s Female Cadets Welfare Program which aims to provide equal opportunities to men and women in securing high-ranking positions in seafaring jobs. Started in 2014, the program creates a level playing field that allows women to demonstrate their capabilities in a traditionally male-dominated profession.

In 2014, Mandafe joined Magsaysay Maritime Corporation (MMC), Masterbulk’s manning agency in the Philippines, and her first onboard assignment was Masterbulk’s MV Heranger in November of the same year. Her experience exposed her to diverse tasks – from watchkeeping to deck maintenance such as greasing, painting, and checking of life saving equipment, among others. The experience and the training helped her gain ground as a deck officer and today, she is seen as an inspiration to other women seafarers who want to make it to the top. Mandafe’s achievements prove that women are also capable of braving the high seas.  
Presently, the Female Cadets Welfare Program has 8 Filipino and 5 Singaporean cadets under training in vessels operated by Masterbulk. The program is open to all female graduates of Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering.

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