Red Funnel congratulates new female captain
07-03-2018 Red Funnel, the Isle of Wight's award-winning ferry operator, welcomes the promotion of Alice Duncan to the position of captain. The announcement coincides with International Women's Day on 8 March 2018.
Starting out on a cadetship programme at 18, Alice was fascinated by life at sea after learning to sail with her grandfather and hearing inspiring stories from her parents who both served in the Royal and Merchant Navy.
After graduating from the programme, Alice moved to Southampton and joined Red Funnel just over five years ago as a chief officer working on Red Funnel's ro-pax and high-speed ferries. For the last two years, she's worked aboard Red Osprey where she's gained the additional qualifications, skills and experience necessary to become a captain.
To become a fully qualified "captain of the ship", Alice had to undertake rigorous in-house training and assessment programmes to prove that she had the required skills and experience to take overall command.
Talking of her outstanding achievement, Alice said: "I feel so proud and privileged to have made it. It has been my dream for many years, and just shows that hard work pays off. We need more women in maritime careers and if I can help to encourage other women to embark on this career then that's amazing."
Red Funnel actively encourages diversity in its workforce and has a growing number of female commanders, first officers, deck hands and engineers but Alice is the only captain.
Originally intent on becoming a vet, Alice regularly enjoys meeting passengers and tackling new challenges whether that's safely handling the ship in bad visibility or negotiating the wide range of commercial and leisure traffic in the Solent and Southampton Water.
Debbie Reed, interim HR director at Red Funnel said: "Having a diverse team across the organisation is vitally important and we are passionate about championing the successes of our colleagues and supporting them in an environment where they can develop. The entire team at Red Funnel is incredibly proud of Alice and we hope that her achievement and career thus far will inspire more women to follow in her footsteps."