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#IWD2022 – Working With Men Strengthens Sub Lieutenant’s Role

Being the only female on board with 23 men crew has been tough, yet a milestone achievement for Mereseini Sokoilagi. Ms Sokoiladi, 27, who is a Sub lieutenant at the Republic of Fiji Navy, is originally from Naloto, Verata Tailevu. She has been employed in this field for three years now.
08 Mar 2022 11:00
#IWD2022 – Working With Men Strengthens Sub Lieutenant’s Role
Mereseini Sokoiladi.

Being the only female on board with 23 men crew has been tough, yet a milestone achievement for Mereseini Sokoilagi.

Ms Sokoiladi, 27, who is a Sub lieutenant at the Republic of Fiji Navy, is originally from Naloto, Verata Tailevu.

She has been employed in this field for three years now.

 

She is an assistant navigator on board where she ensures to keep the ship safe when en route from Point A to Point B and ensure the safety of the personnel on board.

“We plan the routes, check the weather forecast if it will affect the journey, provide estimated time of arrivals, keep the ship safe from any danger,” she said.

Ms Sokoiladi said there were many ups and downs in this journey and every day she learnt something new from it.

 

“At first, I thought I had to push myself twice harder but working alongside men you both adapt to the field,” she said.

“They have adapted to me working alongside them every day and vice versa.”

“They’re always keen to help out in areas I am not familiar with and I am always happy to learn.”

 

She also said first few weeks of adapting to a new environment was always challenging.

“You working towards proving that you can do the work they do and they’re also adapting to me being on board. Once we’re past that stage, it’s up me whether I want to make it difficult for myself or not,” Ms Sokoiladi said.

She said she has been able to overcome this by being confident and positive in what she did.

 

“Stepping out of my comfort zone and not seeing myself as a female who has limitations made me to be open to learning things,” she said.

“My advice for them is to be brave and never be afraid of challenging a norm and working together.”

“My advice for every women out there is to break the bias in their workplace, and in their communities in order for women to move forward from stereotypes and discrimination.”

 

Feedback: shreeya.verma@fijisun.com.fj



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