Continuing our series of inspiring stories of some of our Oceanic female colleagues from different corners of the globe, meet Lisa Garrido Lontoc, our Head Nutritionist and Head for Nutrition Education at our Oceanic Hospitality Training Centre in Manila.

Can you share with us a brief background about yourself and what motivated you to pursue a career at sea or in the shipping sector?

I always wanted to work in a hospital, but at the time due to my family’s financial struggle, I started working in a hotel. I got a job at a resort hotel in the Food &Beverage department, and in my 8th month at work, one of our guests who worked at a maritime agency encouraged me to try working on a cruise ship. It seems prestigious and attractive because of the benefits and income it offered. I have a strong personality and I see life’s challenges and pressures as opportunities.

During my initial contract aboard a cruise vessel, I had the privilege of participating in a world cruise, and I was given the opportunity to work for 10 years onboard cruise vessels. This is when I met my husband who was a Sous Chef then onboard cruise ships. After my career at sea, I went back to school and got a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics which is my current practiced profession.

When did you join Oceanic and what is your current role?

It was 2013 when fate led me to work at “V.Catering Culinary Training Center” now known as Oceanic Hospitality Training Centre, and my current role is that of a Trainer-Nutritionist and Head for Nutrition Education.

What aspects of your job do you find most fulfilling, and how do you enjoy collaborating with colleagues from diverse cultural backgrounds?

It is fulfilling when I speak with the Chief Cooks, Messman, and Cooks at my presentations, lectures, and counseling. I think my job is significant in bridging the gap between the culinary training and galley personnel onboard and working as a team with other trainers locally and abroad as we make a difference and gratification.

How do you see the future for women in seafaring and the broader shipping industry?

Since IMO supports gender equality and helping countries with career opportunities for women, there will be a lesser cultural stigma, oppression, and more representation of women.  As others say, the involvement of women in the maritime industry will break the stereotypes and this will lead to more diversified opportunities, proving women’s worth through the quality of work. We can see more women working not only in hospitality onboard but even in engine and deck where they are showcasing perseverance, resilience, and dedication.

What advice would you offer to women aspiring to embark on a career at sea or within the shipping industry?

Women in the maritime industry is a promising career with so many possibilities. Don’t let anyone take away your dream. But first be ready to embrace difficult situations, take chances.  Let the world know your worth, always carry the core values to succeed, your strong determination, your passion, respect for others, resilience, humility and serve as an inspiration to many.

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