Female ferry officer inspires young women

07-04-2015 Red Funnel is lending its support to a campaign to encourage more girls to consider jobs in male dominated industries.

One of the company’s chief officers, Fiona Noone, spoke at an event last week in a bid to educate young girls about careers in the marine industry.

Fiona, who is also an ambassador of Red Funnel's 'Careers at Sea' programme, spoke to the school girls, aged 13 to 16, at the 'Inspiring Women: Driven to Success' event about her career path and what her job as a chief officer at Red Funnel entails.

Fiona said: "I relished the chance to speak to the girls about my career. Gender should not hold you back from any opportunities. The girls asked me lots of questions about Red Funnel and how I got involved with the Merchant Navy and if I always knew that this was the job I wanted to do."

The event brought together 20 professional women and 100 girls and formed part of a campaign spearheaded by Miriam Gonzalez, partner at Dechert LLP and wife of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. The event had a speed-networking format so that each woman had the chance to speak to the girls in small groups.

Although the female role models came from different backgrounds and from across different industries, they all drive as part of their day-to-day jobs. From jet fighters to trains, HGVs to warships and passenger ferries to Formula E cars, the women shared their experience and knowledge of driving careers in a bid to encourage the girls to work hard and aim high and to showcase the wide range of roles available.

The Inspiring Women campaign, launched in 2013, aims to see 15,000 women from a wide range of occupations going into state schools to talk to young women about their jobs, careers and life experiences. 12,500 women have already pledged an hour of their time per year towards the cause.

Fiona continued: "I was delighted to promote careers in the Merchant Navy and give the girls a different idea of roles they could aspire to. Through determination and hard work anyone can break down barriers."