Women are natural leaders!

BOURBON aims to make Diversity, Equity and Inclusion an essential condition for the expression of everyone's potential and for collective performance, via a dedicated committee! As part of its work, we bring you portraits of female employees who share their experiences of working in a traditionally male sector... Today, Raluca NECULAI, PMP Project Manager.

Can you please introduce yourself?

Raluca NECULAI: I am a mechanical engineer with a master's in maritime law. I commenced my career as an engineer at a Shipyard in Mangalia, Constanta, builders of various vessels, including tankers, where I contributed to the equipment maintenance. Currently, I am pursuing a Master of Science in Marine Technical Superintendent in Liverpool, UK. I joined Bourbon in Bucharest as a PMP Project Superintendent in late 2018 for almost three years. In 2021, I transitioned to France where I found a supportive management team and a welcoming atmosphere. Since, I serve as a PMP Project Manager at Bourbon Offshore Surf.

Can you provide an overview of your current role at Bourbon?

R.N: PMP projects typically start nine months in advance, involving a kick-off meeting, data gathering, and plan creation. Approved plans lead to arrangements, purchasing, and preparation for the technical stop. Jobs commence upon the vessel's arrival to mitigate delays, and pressure builds towards the end. Fatigue decreases after a successful Failure Mode and Effects Analysis 5 years test, leading to project closure over several post-departure months, culminating in the final invoice to the vessel owner. Project managers oversee all aspects, collaborating with contributors and aiming for strong relationships with vessel crews for smooth transitions amid parallel projects at different stages.

Have you encountered any challenges as a woman working in the maritime industry?

R.N: Overall, the maritime industry has treated me well. While there have been occasional isolated comments from some male colleagues, they are not pervasive. When working on vessels, people generally treat me with respect and welcome me. I strive to remain true to myself as a woman while excelling in my job, whether it involves hands-on physical tasks or not. My colleagues often express positive surprise and admiration for my work in the field. I believe in being involved, empathetic, and giving my best.

How do you manage to balance work and personal life?

R.N: Balancing work and personal life has been challenging, particularly since I am relatively new to Marseille. I am still working on finding a healthy balance, making an effort not to get too busy, and ensuring a balance between business trips.

Would you recommend a career in maritime industry to young women? If so, what advice would you give them?

R.N: Definitely! Set the route and keep it up, sure it will not be smooth all the time but do not divert from your course due to winds, waves and people’s opinion.

What do you envision for the future of women in leadership roles in the maritime industry?

R.N: Women have undoubtedly secured their place in management and leadership roles. I believe women are well-suited for leadership positions, possessing organizational skills, project management abilities, and natural leadership instincts. They excel in communication, catering to the diverse needs of everyone involved. Having women in organizations is beneficial, especially in handling sensitive situations. Women bring essential soft skills such as empathy, effective communication, and listening, which complement men in leadership positions within the same organizations.