Lived Experiences of Women Leaders in a Male-dominated World of Work: A Phenomenological Study

Victoria Q. Paraggua, Ma. Nissa C. Espiritu, Ellen E. Luna


The maritime industry is still considered to be a male-dominated field. Nevertheless, there are a few women who still managed to emerge victorious in the field, defying the stigma that women cannot embrace the maritime world. This phenomenological study focuses on the lived experiences of women leaders in the maritime field while ascending to their current position. It utilized a researcher-made semi-structured interview guide about the journey of each participant to leadership. Eight participants were purposively selected to shed light on the matters being sought. This study also clustered the challenges these women leaders individually encountered as they rose from the ranks. Values and principles which helped and guided the participants to triumph over the challenges were also discussed. Job excellence is common among the participants as their way to overcome any challenge. They eventually gained the respect of their male colleagues by proving their worth and doing their best. 


Women in Maritime Industry; Women Leader; Phenomenology

Full Text:



Aggrey, H.A. (2000). Women in the maritime industry: a review of female participation and their role in Maritime Education and Training in the 21st century.

Arulnayagam, A. (2020). Addressing the voice of women in marine and maritime industry. Scientific Research Journal, Volume VIII(Issue IV), 52-55. doi:DOI: 10.31364/SCIRJ/v8.i4.2020.P0420763

Chisholm, L.K. (2015, October 14). Women’s leadership in the 21st century. article-details/15371/women-s-leadership-in-the-21st-century/

Cristina, D., & Simona, U. (2013). International Maritime Organisation’s Initiatives for Women Integration in the Maritime Sector. Ovidius University Annals, Series Economic Sciences, 13(2).

Cultural adaptation: Definition, theory, stages & examples. (2015, August). lesson/cultural-adaptation-definition-theory-stages-examples.html#:~:text=Cultural%20adaptation%20 is%20the%20process,%2C%20recovery%2C%20and%20adjustment%20stages.

Dela Cruz, P (2017). Breaking the glass ceiling effect: a teaching pedagogical approach to gender sensitivity issues pertaining to Filipino seafarers. Unpublished Thesis. Philippine Merchant Marine Academy

Discrimination: What it is, and how to cope. (2019 October).

Friends of WMU JAPAN Newsletter (2021, March). Eulogy for Myrna “Mhay” Daite-Alvarez. http://www.

Handout 2 d) (i) Women’s Empowerment (Longwe) Framework. (n.d.). https://whatisgender.files.wordpress. com › 2011/05

International Registries. (2018, April 27). First female Filipina shipmaster commands Republic of the Marshall Islands flagged ship.

Kariba, Y (29 April 2020). 10 ways to conquer challenges.

Kitada, M., & Langaker, L. (2016). Women seafarers as minority organizational members. Proceedings of the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU), AGA, 326-333.

Misachi, J. (2017, August 24). Are There More Men or Women in the World? WorldAtlas.

Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development-Uganda. (1999). Balancing the scales – Participants’ Manual. Retrieved from

Osi, E. C., & Teng-Calleja, M. (2021). Women on top: The career development journey of Filipina business executives in the Philippines. Career Development International, 26(2), 140–157.

Ozdemir, P. & Albaypak, T. (2018). Barrier’s to women’s leadership in maritime and ways to overcome them.

Philippine Merchant Marine Academy ALUMNI (PMMA) Association. (2020, December 14). [Obituary]. https://www.

Philippine Merchant Marine Academy Registrar’s Office (2021). Current record of cadets and cadettes for school year 2020-2021, second semester.

Rogers, K. (13 March 2018). Women's empowerment: Ambiguous term or effective call to action?

Tansey, P. (1999). Women on Board Ships: Ten Years of IMO Women in Development Programme. Indian Shipping.

Thomson, S. (2017, March 30). A man’s world? Try telling these 5 women leaders. agenda/2017/03/women-leaders-gender-gap/

Torib, Y.F. (2019, May 1). Champion of ‘she’-farers and women in maritime. Manila Times. https://www.manilatimes. net/2019/05/01/business/maritime-business/champion-of-she-farers-and-women-in-maritime/547652

Turnbull, P. (2013). Promoting the employment of women in the transport sector–obstacles and policy options. International Labour Office, Geneva. ISBN: 9789221282433

United Nations Human Rights. (n.d.). Gender stereotyping. /wrgs/pages/genderstereotypes.aspx

UN Women. (2010, July 2). UN creates new structure for empowerment of women.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2022 Aksara: Jurnal Ilmu Pendidikan Nonformal

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Magister Pendidikan Nonformal Pascasarjana Universitas Negeri Gorontalo
Jl. Soedirman No. 06 Gorontalo 96128 e-mail: