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Columbia Group Launches Female Cadet Mentoring Program

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

October 16, 2023

Claudia Paschkewitz, Columbia Group’s Managing Director of Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion, with 2nd Officer Olena Kokorieva (Photo: Columbia Group)

Claudia Paschkewitz, Columbia Group’s Managing Director of Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion, with 2nd Officer Olena Kokorieva (Photo: Columbia Group)

Aiming to attract more women into the maritime sector, ship management and maritime services company Columbia Group has launched a mentoring program aimed at female cadets.

“We need to change the culture in the industry surrounding women and make it more viable for them to have a career in maritime, so that we can attract and widen the pool of talent that we draw from,” said program leader Claudia Paschkewitz, Columbia Group’s Managing Director of Sustainability, Diversity & Inclusion.

“We hope that our new mentoring program will provide the emotional support and encouragement that female cadets may need to make them feel comfortable and confident in their roles.”

Columbia has tapped corporate wellbeing provider OneCare Solutions for training of the program’s mentors, who will be senior female colleagues based in different departments onshore. Each will be trained to deal with situations such as sexual harassment and bullying, and assigned to one female cadet in the fleet for their whole 12 months of sea service.

Columbia Group is also appealing for the support of mentors and captains alike and all captains of vessels in the fleet which have female cadets assigned to them will receive contact details for the cadets’ mentors prior to embarkation, thus encouraging communication between mentors and their mentees.

“Our mentors will provide a safe and supportive environment so cadets can seek advice or voice any concerns they may have,” Paschkewitz said.

“Through the Female Cadet Mentoring Program, the cadets can develop the skills and knowledge to succeed in their careers and, one day, become leaders in the maritime industry themselves.”