International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is an important time to recognize the contributions women have made in our society and workplace and understand how we can further embrace equity to make our environments inclusive to all. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) is #InspireInclusion which emphasizes the importance of diversity and empowerment in all aspects of society and encourages everyone to recognize the unique perspectives and contributions of women.

At Marine Atlantic, we recognize and celebrate the amazing, capable women who make up our workforce. Today, we would like to introduce you to some of the women who inspire us through their dedication and resiliency.

Angela Young

For almost 29 years, Angela Young has been part of our team. As a Chief Cook on board the Highlanders, Angela spends her days giving it her all in the MET Restaurant and supporting her coworkers wherever she can. 
“In my role, you have to have strong shoulders and a strong mind. I am independent and I don’t rely on anyone else to do my work, but you have to have a good team in the galley for things to run smoothly. I try and help out the other cooks where and whenever I can and to be there to support everyone, not just those in the galley. I try to be there for anyone who needs a chat, I am there to listen and offer support where I can.”
Angela had this piece of advice for those starting their career. 
“My advice to anyone starting in their career is to be open and not to come into a new position thinking you know everything. We can all learn something new from each other. And when you work and live together with each other, it’s better to get along!”

Picture of Angela Young

Carol Ingram

Carol Ingram, our new Director of Shore Operations, is responsible for the shore-based operations and facilities at all our port locations.

Proud to call Port aux Basques home, Carol credits an eclectic background that led her to her current role at MAI. “Training and education are a starting point, but it’s our experiences and relationships coupled with that training that will lead us down our path; or so was the case for me,” she says.

Her educational background, work experiences, and volunteer roles have given her many opportunities to gain new, unique perspectives that support her in her everyday life.

“Women’s perspectives on situations can and will add value to any discussion and outcome. And having women in varying positions across any organization can only be considered an asset for that organization. A progressive environment will recognize that diversity in all its forms will enhance its strength, longevity, and adaptability.”

Picture of Carol Ingram

Tanya McCormick

Tanya McCormick is an Assistant Steward and has been with Marine Atlantic for almost 6 years. In her role, Tanya is constantly on the move, doing everything from assisting passengers, supporting deck safety, and cleaning cabins. During her time at Marine Atlantic, Tanya says her coworkers have become family, and remind her that she and other women are more than capable of doing jobs that aren’t traditionally held by women.

“I think the greatest challenges are to not be compared to one another,” she says. “Some people may think women shouldn’t be doing certain jobs that are or have been considered male-dominant positions such as engine room assistants, storekeepers, mates, right up to Captains. But women are breaking through these gender boundaries every single day and we are seeing more women working these positions. We have an amazing role model in Captain Heidi Thomas. She inspires me and others to never give up. She makes me strive to become more because she is proof that it can be done, and she does it with great diligence and professionalism.”

Picture of Tanya McCormick

Sherry Scott

As a Chief Storekeeper on board the Atlantic Vision, a New Employee Onboard Trainer and a Marine Mentor, Sherry Scott has a lot of responsibilities at Marine Atlantic.

From ordering and receiving all the food, paper, linen, and chemical supplies for the Atlantic Vision to educating new employees to working and living on board and supporting her coworkers across the vessel, Sherry supports both her coworkers and her operations every day.

Sherry says that one of the challenges of being a woman in a Storekeeper role is that for many years it was a male-dominated job because of the physical nature of the position. “Many times people assume you cannot physically do the lifting,” she explains. “A lot of times people try to take something out of my hands while I am lifting or carrying heavy objects. I usually have two assistants who work with me and if I have male assistants people generally look to them before looking to me when inquiring about an issue or needing an item from the storeroom. That can become a little frustrating.”

“I think being a woman in the role of Chief Storekeeper is a positive because women tend to be more organized, and you have to be very organized to do this job justice. Any women considering this position I would tell them to go for it!”

Picture of Sherry Scott

Wanda Janes

Wanda Janes holds many titles at Marine Atlantic. Hired as an Assistant Steward, she became a Purser in 2022 and took on the role of Chief Steward in 2023. She’s also part of the Marine Mentor team and the Change Ambassador team for the Ala’suinu.

With all her multiple job titles there comes a lot of responsibility. “My biggest responsibility no matter what position I am working on any given day, would be to ensure the safety of my co-workers and our customers,” says Wanda. “As Purser and Chief Steward, I am part of a supervisor team who are responsible for the daily operations within the passenger services department on each vessel.”

“Although I believe education is always important, I like to look at myself as an example that you don’t always need a university degree to be successful. I came to the company with a grade 12 diploma, a work ethic, and a willingness to want to learn. I have completed many training courses over the years which have all been a benefit in some way. I would suggest to anyone interested in moving forward in any supervisory role to consider doing the Leadership Management Development Program. It was a remarkably interesting program and helped me learn a lot about myself.”

Wanda says the most positive thing about being a woman in her role is having the privilege to work with other women who have encouraged and inspired her to be like them. “I hope that my success will encourage other women to never give up on their goals and future achievements.”

Picture of Wanda Janes

Phyllis Stephenson

Phyllis Stephenson is the Director of the Passenger Services Department, which is responsible for all activities that contribute to our onboard customer experience. “We are responsible for hotel, food and beverage, and gift shop operations onboard including housekeeping for the vessels, the crew accommodations, and crew dining experiences,” she explains.

“As a woman, I bring a unique perspective to leadership discussions and decision-making processes,” she says. “This diversity of thought can lead to more well-rounded strategies and solutions. Overall, I believe a combination of education, relevant experience, strong leadership skills, and industry-specific knowledge is essential for success.”

The marine industry has traditionally been male-dominated and can lead to stereotypes about women’s capabilities and roles in this field. Phyllis believes that breaking through these stereotypes and gaining acceptance can be challenging for women. Her advice to others is to seek out mentorship. “Find mentors—both male and female—who can offer guidance, support, and encouragement as you navigate your career path,” she says. “Learn from their experiences and insights, and don’t hesitate to ask for advice when needed.”

Picture of Phyllis Stephenson