Sonali Banerjee,India’s First Woman Maritime Engineer in a Male Dominated Field

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In a male dominating society along with merchant navy as a profession, where women are still struggling to find some space, Sonali Banerjee was the first Indian woman to shift the direction of the wind and change the tide for women seeking a this as career by become a maritime engineer. Her story is truly intriguing !!

Even till this date, the sailing trade is a male dominated area. Be it month long oceanic voyages or herculean inshore tugboats or other vessels working in the close proximity of land; the top to bottom crew are mostly made up of men.

And if you do find a woman abroad, rest assured she has walked a strenuous path to get there.

Hailing from Allahabad basically; Sonali’s journey wasn’t easy. She sensed an apprehensive conduct among people towards her; right from relatives, fellow students and even her own father; all because of the career choice she had made.

Being the only girl among 1500 odd boys in the campus itself seems a bit hard. But her resolute intentions pulled her through. After graduating from kolkata’s Maritime Engineering Research Institute; Sonali collected a distinct work experience by working for oil tankers and then attaining the role of a Merchant Navy Officer.




However, she always knew proving her worth onboard was frustrating at times.
A society where female gender is still not appreciated as bread earners in the house, she held immense courage to open the gates for women who wish to enter male-dominated work sectors. Nevertheless, there are many who have even become successful pilots.

Victory and success were never given to women as charity; they have won over many debates, arguments, fights, struggles, and battles to attain this glory. Merchant Navy is one of the challenging roles and Sonali Banerjee had a tough challenge to convince people that even included the women against. There is no field today which is untouched by women.

“While men can make mistakes that are ignored.I have to be extra careful not to make says SONALI BANERJEE: INDIA’S FIRST WOMAN, Maritime ENGINEER.

Some arguments have speechless answers. Women can’t be scientists, but they carry science with them while carrying a baby in womb; women can’t be pilots, but they have the courage to train men how to walk and climb; women can’t be body builders, but they are given the responsibility to raise the entire family. It is sad to know we live in a society full of Hippocrates.

Motivational Factor:

Women like Sonali are a trophy themselves for the society and nation at large. Imagine the level of insult, disappointment, and demotivation these women go through, merely for showing an interest in a male dominated work sector. The role was very challenging for her because of various reasons. One of the major challenges was that she was the first woman to enter merchant navy and even the women couldn’t digest this fact.




She has gone through testing periods like proving herself capable of everything, in every challenge. People with presumptions related to her weakness of being a woman, were not always convinced of her thoughts and ideas. There were sarcastic comments passed on her at times during her career. Sonali had faced frustrating times of proving her capability during her career life. There have been situations where men were not mentally prepared to accept her at the rank of an officer and make her stand next to them.

We have to accept this honestly, everytime we read such inspiring stories, we get a different positive vibe running inside us.. Their determination and patience is commendable. If any of us is still thinking of ways to do something as a self-starter, do not wait for excuses. Identify the beauty and courage inside you and speak out for yourself, like Sonali Banerjee did.

You never know if you would be the first woman in a sector dominated by men.One will be noticed and commented upon Sonali once told TIMES OF INDIA




Some arguments have speechless answers. Women can’t be scientists, but they carry science with them while carrying a baby in womb; women can’t be pilots, but they have the courage to train men how to walk and climb; women can’t be body builders, but they are given the responsibility to raise the entire family. It is sad to know we live in a society full of Hippocrates.

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