Women Encouraged to Follow Maritime Careers


A heavy equipment operator, port construction manager, shoe company executive and maritime university student have encouraged women from Long Beach, US to explore careers in shipping industry at this week’s fifth annual ‘Celebrating Women in Trade’ luncheon held at the Long Beach Convention Center.

During the event, officials awarded the second annual ‘Advancing Women in International Trade Award’ to Carolyn Martin, a goods movement industry worker who retired in 2014 following a 42-year career with International Transportation Service (ITS), which operates the oldest container terminal at the Port of Long Beach.

In a panel discussion during the event, women who currently work in the industry talked about their inspiration, education, and career paths and described their job duties and typical workdays.  

Lou Anne Bynum, Vice President of the Harbor Commission, said: “It wasn’t easy for our women trailblazers. That’s why we owe it to them to build on their hard-won successes, and offer this platform to encourage young women to consider international trade as a career path.”

Martin rose from an Executive Secretary to ITS’s Assistant Vice President of Customer Service. She was a pioneer in terminal operations design, especially regarding entry and exit gates, and worked with programmers to computerise import operations. She also helped set up ITS facilities in Oakland, New Jersey and Tacoma.

Martin said: “To see how large this event has become warms my heart. We’re unleashing this power in young women so they know they can and will make a difference in this industry.”

Fact File: The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s premier seaports, a gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in goods movement and environmental stewardship. With 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the Port handles US$180 billion in trade annually, supporting hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs.

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