A lover of the sea, passionate about the Merchant Navy, Ingrid Lescudier always knew she would work in the maritime industry. She works today as 3rd engineer on a PSV Bourbon Explorer 500. Portrait of a woman of character who quickly found her place in a predominantly male environment...
I've loved the ocean since I was a child. I got started working in the maritime sector early. At the age of 15, a friend of my parents, a pilot from the port of Marseilles, invited me to spend a day with him. When I got off the boat, my mind was made up: I wanted to be a merchant marine… I never once changed my mind and I have absolutely no regrets! After studying at the French Ecole Nationale Supérieure Maritime (ENSM), I sailed with the Méridionale company several times and joined BOURBON as a student on the Ailette vessel. Almost two years ago, I started my career at BOURBON as 3rd engineer on Bourbon Explorer 500s. I currently hold the position of DPO flex on the Bourbon Explorer 509: I am a cross-functional third engineer, capable of performing a DP operation on the bridge. Why did you choose offshore? During my studies, I quickly realized that what I liked more than anything was the technical side, and what could be more technical than offshore? I feel like I'm learning every day. It's exciting.
Being a woman offshore
For me, it's not particularly difficult... if you have a strong personality! I'm a seafarer above all, and my male colleagues are friendly and respectful, especially when it comes to engineering. Of course, if a woman is too into fashion, I'd say that offshore is probably not for her… Makeup is not recommended when you're working in overalls with an unbearable level of humidity! I have two separate lives: one onshore with my family during my time off, when I travel, play sports, do odd jobs, go to the movies, etc.; and the other at sea, where I work and stay in touch with my family using the Wi-Fi on board.
My advice to a woman who is interested in becoming a seafarer
Above all, she should not limit herself: she should explain her plans well to her parents to get their support and she should study science, without neglecting English. You also have to be aware of the commitment: it's a difficult job with a specific lifestyle. I would also advise her to choose her missions carefully at the start of her career: she needs to make sure she has a lot of possibilities because once she has started a family, she will inevitably have to consider adjusting her professional career. In other words, if she is interested in becoming a seafarer, she should go for it! If she is interested in offshore, then she should take advantage of sailing as a student to explore the other options, and above all, she should start her professional life offshore because it will be more difficult to juggle work and family life afterwards! You really have to stick with it and never lose your motivation.