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Women in Search and Rescue

Monday 16 May 2022
Gender equity is vital to AMSA’s preparedness. The pros of women entering maritime are well known—these include women bringing a broader range of perspectives and strengths in the workforce and creating a greater pool of talent to draw on in the face of a skills shortage.
Women in search and rescue

The maritime sector is heavily male dominated and increasing the participation of women presents an opportunity for AMSA to lead the industry in promoting greater gender equity.  

AMSA’s gender equity action plan establishes a clear pathway for the organisation to achieve gender equity from the inside out and we are proud to highlight each win and the women at AMSA making this possible.  

Search and rescue mission coordinator Sheridan Howell, and Senior search and rescue officer Cindy-Lee Francis are two of the women at AMSA contributing to this goal. 

When interviewed recently, Sheridan was quick to encourage other women into the field. 

‘If there are any women that have any doubts about it—I say go for it!’ she said. 

‘AMSA is very proactive with women in maritime. My colleague Sam and I have recently qualified as the first aviation SAR [search and rescue] mission coordinators,’ she said. 

‘I was on the AMSA search and rescue aircraft for just over ten years, then the opportunity came up to work in the operational role. It’s a very diverse role and I thought I would try out for the job— here I am nearly five years later.’ 

Cindy-Lee built on this with her views on working in such a diverse team. 

‘We all have a different understanding of how operational environments work, so when we are presented with a problem, we come together as a team to solve it with our different ways of approaching things.’ 

Learn more about AMSA’s initiatives to promote and support women in maritime

Keep an eye on career opportunities at AMSA