Cover photo for LGBTQ2+ Role Models of Maritime

LGBTQ2+ Role Models of Maritime

Captain Thomas Lindegaard Madsen -  Board Member of Maersk

“I went to sea knowing I was gay… I thought that it (being gay) would go away at sea and I would get an education in becoming a ‘real’ man. It didn’t work out because I fell in love with my Chief Officer.” Captain Thomas, Maersk

Industry community gCaptain featured Captain Thomas in an extensive article, based on his #YouAreIncluded podcast interview with one of Denmark´s most famous drag queen, Chantal al Arab.

Ingelin Grimsæth, Founder of SeaHER, Vice Chairman of the Norwegian Maritime Officers´ Association, Maritime Traffic Lead at Equinor

Ingelin started her maritime career 10 years ago, as deck cadet for the Norwegian Armed Forces, before joining Fjord1. She has been an instructor at the Norwegian Sea Rescue Academy, First Officer with navigation and ship safety responsibility at the Norwegian Armed Forces, before joining Hurtigruten Group as Maritime Officer. 

Ingelin founded SeaHER to accelerate the focus and initiatives on improving the industry´s competence within diversity and equality, and is a strong spokes person for improving the rights of seafaring parents to obtain equal pay and benefits as land based personel during parental leave. Ingelin is the first female Vice Chair of the Maritime Officers´ Association - and a fantastic role model for our industry and the younger generation!

Tonje Frøystad Garvik, Sales Director of Zaptec, Author of 'Queer - the inner battle'

Tonje first attended Nor-Shipping while still in school all the way back in 2009, as host for Brude Safety, before joining Albatech and later Metizoft as sales manager. She has been regional sales manager for Autronica, before she joined Zaptec. She has also been a board member of the Norwegian Maritime Exporters´ organisation.

Parellell to her maritime related career, Tonje has become quite a celebrity in Norway - and she has been a very visible spokes person for more openness and less shame, publishing her book 'Queer - the inner battle' in 2022.

This is a book about shame, fear, vulnerability and courage. Feelings around coming out of the closet, and the journey out of the closet with denial at the bottom.

We love to follow the life and journey of Tonje, both professionaly and seeing her lovely family grow and thrive. 

It is a non-fiction book that takes a deep dive into queer history, theory around different emotions, values, loneliness and motivation to seize life. But it is my story that is the common thread you follow through the book. Put simply, it's the book Tonje wish I had and the one I wish everyone had read, to understand the internal struggle queers can go through when trying to figure out who they are. (Tonje)

'By publishing this book, I feel that I am sharing a part of my soul. Something that is very scary. At the same time, that was how it had to be. I hope it can make a positive contribution to your life, whether your role is to be there for others or you need to figure something out yourself! The book exists because I support that it should be easier to love the one you want, without having to fight the inner battle. Just that as a human being you know that you have the right to love. That your happiness is as important as everyone else's.' (Tonje, about what motivated her to write the book)

Aljon B. Asusano, First Engineer “Dyosa Makinista,” (Goddess Machinist)

Dyosa took a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering at the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) in Mariveles, Bataan, and was on the dean’s list all through college, graduating with flying colors. 

Dyosa experienced her first taste of harsh sexual discrimination on her first ship voyage as engine cadet in 2014, and she has been visible and outspoken - sharing her success and challenges. ​

Article By Maritime Fairtrade: Being Gay Should Not Be Hindrance To Becoming Good Seafarer

Christen Sveaas, Executive Chairman & Owner of Kistefos - Active investor in maritime for decades!

Christen Sveaas is among few openly gay top executives and investors in our industry - and we champion his openness and commitment, while encouraging and challenging more people at this level to support and champion LGBTQ+ through their positions. 

Mr. Sveaas has held several board positions, including Treschow-Fritzøe AS, Stolt-Nielsen SA, Orkla ASA, SkipsKredittforeningen AS, Vestenfjelske Bykreditt AS, Tschudi & Eitzen Shipping AS, Scorpion Drilling Ltd., Southwestern Offshore Corp. and he has served as senior advisor to EQT, Sweden. Mr. Sveaas presently serves as a member of the Board of directors at Siem Offshore Inc.

Mr. Sveaas is the owner and Executive Chairman of Kistefos AS, Chairman of AS Kistefos Træsliberi, Vice Chairman of the board of The Kistefos Museum Foundation and Chairman of Anders Sveaas’ Almennyttige Fond, a Norwegian charitable foundation. He is a long standing member of Dean’s Council’s Executive Board, Harvard Kennedy School, Boston, USA. Mr. Sveaas is also a member of HSG Advisory Board at the University of St. Gallen.

Mr. Sveaas is a named benefactor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a founding member of its  International Council, as well as member of the museum’s European Visiting Committee. He is a member of Tate International Council and a Global Patron of Art Basel.

Who´s your role model?

Towards Pride month 2024, we´d love to get your feedback on other amazing role models across the ocean industries! Comment on post below or contact us!

Is your company LGBTQ2+ supportive?

While developing TOOL Spawn as an open and interactive platform for supporting & connecting the innovators´ community, we have implemented tech-for-good principles. 

When you register or update your company profile here on Spawn, you can choose between different company types - and among these you can identify your organisation as LGBTQ2+ friendly. 

We also welcome all our industry colleagues to share their initiatives and practices that are focused on making us better together, in supporting and nurturing inclusive and open practices to support and change our industries from within!

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