Korea's HMM names female skipper to command 8,600-TEUer

JUN Kyoung-ok, 38

30 December 2019 - 19:00

JUN Kyoung-ok, 38. has been appointed Korea's first female captain of flag carrier Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), reports the Korea Times.

HMM said it appointed Capt Jun, 38, as master of the Hyundai Courage, an 8,600-TEU ship currently sailing HMM's Korea Middle-East Express line.

This is the first time for a woman to hold the command of a Korean flag-carrier vessel. HMM became the sole flag carrier after Hanjin Shipping went bankrupt in 2017.

'Just 10 years ago, it was unimaginable for a vessel to have a female captain, and I am very grateful to be the first female captain and HMM is the company that appointed her,' Captain Jun said.

'Still, it is regrettable that it took nearly 30 years for me to become captain after entering the National Maritime & Ocean University, which is oftentimes regarded as off-limits to women. The ocean is still narrow for women, and I hope my appointment could break the practice of depriving opportunity or discriminating based on gender,' she said.

Capt Jun graduated from university in 2005 and joined HMM as a third mate. She was promoted to second mate in 2006 and become first mate two years later. She spent most of her career on containerships.

'After 10 years, I hope for society to become more equal to different genders, so more female mariners can maintain their jobs while raising children, and the appointment of a female captain does not make the news,' she said.


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