Inspiring Women At DFDS On International Women’s Day

March 6, 2020

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate women in your families, in your lives and in your workplaces and at DFDS we have hundreds of great women working across Europe. We thought we would share some of their stories with you, to celebrate their success and the continuing stories of inspiring women in business.

We caught up with four women who work on our vessels from Dover – France and Newcastle – Amsterdam, to find out what they love about working for DFDS.

Bogumila Kobiela – Business Leader Accommodation and Service – King Seaways

Rebecca Clark – Safety Officer onboard Cote des Dunes, Dunkerque Seaways and Dover Seaways

Amelia Marchant – Dunkerque Operations

Celine Capon Engrand – Dunkerque Operations

Lacey – Jane Griffin – Second Officer – Dover Seaways


From left to right: Lacey Jane Griffin (Dover Seaways), Rebecca Clark (Dunkerque Seaways), Amelia Eve Marchant (Dunkerque Operations) & Celine Capon Engrand (Dunkerque Operations)



Bogumila Kobiela, King Seaways

Why did you choose to work for DFDS?

Amelia: I started working for DFDS in 2014 on a temporary contract and quickly loved the diversity of the job, no day is ever the same and the pace can go from zero to a hundred in the matter of a few minutes. Being born in France to two British parents it allows me to express myself in both French and English every day.

Celine: I always liked working in tourism and expressing myself in both French and English,  having worked for many companies in the same field, I quickly felt part of a family at DFDS and was very pleased when I was offered a permanent contract.

Bogumila: When I started back in 2002 I really wanted to be independent and save some money for studies. My grandad inspired me to try to seek for a job on the ships – he was an old seaman and all the stories he told from those times was something I wanted to experience too. When I started looking for jobs at sea, most of the agencies were only looking for men. Then I found out DFDS were looking for catering crew (both male and female). So that is why I chose this company to start my sea adventure. When I first started my grandad was extremely proud as at the time, I was the only family member (on top a girl) who chose to work at sea.

Lacey – Jane: I saw an opportunity for a Third Officer position with DFDS and as a newly qualified officer I thought if I could get a job working on a ship that crosses one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world the experience would be invaluable to me in my career and it has been. I’m so grateful and appreciative to work for a shipping company that makes coming to work for me an exciting opportunity.

Tell us more about your role at DFDS

Rebecca: My primary role on board is the Safety Officer. This means that all matters associated with Health & Safety is my responsibility. I ensure that procedures and policies are reviewed on a regular basis and any safety incidents are investigated, reported and improvements implemented. This is achieved with regular training of the crew and meetings with all safety representatives on board. I am also responsible for loading the vessel in port and keeping a navigational watch whilst the ship is at sea. I am currently learning how to drive the vessel in and out of port and I would like to be the first female Captain on the D Class vessels.

Amelia:  My role centres around Dunkerque Operations. I am a load master which includes being in charge of loading and discharging all vessels, leading the operational team, allocating each agent to their positions whether it be in the booth or either of our two offices where we deal with hazardous goods, lane allocation, selling of tickets, pet related issues, documentation issues and coach reservations!

Celine: I’m a Dunkerque Operations Agent. My role is to assist passengers before and after check-in, sell and amend tickets, log hazardous goods in our system and assist the load masters with the traffic on the car parks when it comes to loading the vessels.

Bogumila: I´m a part of catering management team that consists of four Business Leaders and a Commercial Head.  My position is called Business Leader Accommodation & Service and the main field of responsibility is the accommodation areas (cabins and public) and guest service area. I´m in charge of between 25 and 45 crewmembers (depending on the season) from three different countries/nationalities.

On average we serve around 800 guests per day which means I need to make sure that  each and every cabin and every bed as well as all the public areas are clean and tidy. There is a total of 1540 beds so it’s a big job and I have a lot of help from my Team Coordinators.

Where would you like to be in 5-10 years?

Rebecca: I would like to think that will achieve my goal of being a Captain with DFDS.

Amelia: Loading is one of my favourite things about my job, I also enjoy being in charge of the freight office, trouble shooting and taking front line decisions when necessary and hope in the future to be appointed the position of Deputy Supervisor.

Bogumila: There is a lot of different opportunities in the company for development and changing positions but as it is at this moment and as I feel right now in 5-10 years I would still like to be a part of this company in the job I´m doing now. Of course it might change as time goes by and I am open to new opportunities within the company.

How many women do you work with?

Amelia & Celine: Currently in Dunkerque we are a team of 35 women.

We both work in Team A, we have a female supervisor and at the moment there is a total of 14 staff members in our team of which 8 are women. GIRL POWER !!

Bogumila: In the management team there are 8 ladies J and in my department crew there are about 20 women. For the whole ship the split is close to 40/60 where 40 goes for women.

What are the benefits for you and your female peers by working in this industry?

Amelia & Celine:  Regardless of gender if you have certain capacities and traits of character for a specific role, you will get the opportunity to grow, take on new roles and responsibilities.

Bogumila: The biggest benefit is, paradoxically, more time home with my family. In the working rotation of 14 days on and 14 days off I can say that in general I have half a year of time off that I can spend with my husband and kids – you will not get it anywhere else. On top of that everyone has the same chances, possibilities for promotion, support if changing the direction of career and good welfare, regardless of gender. There are no barriers for female members in the organisation and I have not heard once “you cannot do it / you cannot have that position/ you cannot have that because you are a woman.”

Lacey-Jane: Currently I have just been promoted to Second Officer within DFDS my job role onboard is to ensure safe loading and discharge of the vessel, maintaining a safe navigational watch during crossings and to make sure all fire-fighting equipment onboard is maintained and ready for use.

Is there any advice you’d give to other women/girls either in general or about working in our industry?

Amelia & Celine:  There is no stronger or weaker sex and whoever tries to make you believe otherwise, don’t. All women are capable of a job any man can do.

Bogumila: Do not let anyone tell you that you are not good enough for something because you are not a man.

 What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Amelia & Celine: When women support each other, incredible things happen.

It’s all about sisterhood. Girls compete with each other whereas women empower each other.

Celine: As Beyonce has previously stated many times, “Who runs the world?” GIRLS !!!

 What women inspire you?

Bogumila: All the women I´m working with – every single one of them has something that inspires me.

There you have it! A run down of some of the inspiring women working for DFDS every day. Step onboard our ships to meet some of them for yourself.

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