Celebrating Women+ in the Maritime Sector: progress, problems and potential, March 8, 1pm EST
In 2021 we met to share our stories, challenges and efforts to gain more access and equity.
The gathering was engaging, interesting and enjoyable and we promised to make it an annual tradition!
You are warmly invited to celebrate with us as we recognize and appreciate the extraordinary women+ in Canada’s sailing and maritime community! You will meet other women with inspiring and informative experiences. We will laugh, reminisce, strategize and share to support each other and to know that we are never alone. If we really want diversity, equity and inclusion this is our time to break some ceilings and move forward. Let’s get together and let’s move it forward!
Beatriz SimasChief Petty Officer 2nd Class, RCSCC CHAUDIERE, Milton, ON
CPO2 Simas cadet career started in 2012 as a Navy League Cadet at NLCC REVENGE in Mississauga. During her time as a Navy League Cadet, CPO2 Simas took on many opportunities and participated in many trips. She also participated in Squadron competitions and won 1st place in Drill and 2nd place in the Drill with Arms Competition. She also led a corps-wide 1812 Drill Display Team during their Annual Inspection. She rose through the ranks and achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer 1st Class and Coxswain of NLCC REVENGE.
In 2015 she graduated from the Navy League Cadet program and moved on to the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps HAIDA. While at RCSCC HAIDA, CPO2 Simas participated in the Inter-Provincial Drill Competition and achieved 2nd place status. In 2017 CPO2 Simas transferred to RCSCC SCARBOROUGH in Scarborough, Ontario. When she arrived at RCSCC SCARBOROUGH at the rank of Leading Cadet, CPO2 Simas helped to recruit and retain cadets. She ensured communication flowed to and from the officers and was loyal to both her superiors and her subordinates. She quickly achieved the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class and at that rank she sat and passed the Coxswain’s board, and was appointed Coxswain of RCSCC SCARBOROUGH. During her time as Coxswain of RCSCC SCARBOROUGH, CPO2 Simas also volunteered as a Cadet Instructor with NLCC COMPASS ROSE in Acton, ON.
In 2019, CPO2 Simas transferred once again to RCSCC CHAUDIERE in Milton, Ontario. Since moving to RCSCC CHAUDIERE CPO2 Simas took on the position of Guard Commander and led her Guard during the Remembrance Day ceremonies at Milton’s Town Hall. During the pandemic CPO2 Simas got promoted to the rank of Petty Officer 1st Class and subsequently on to her current rank of Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class, serving as Chief of Training. While tending to her job at RCSCC CHAUDIERE, CPO2 Simas is a founder Sea Cadet member and instructor of the new NLCC ADVENTURE, a Navy League Cadet Corps for cadets ages 9-12, located in Milton.
Some of the awards CPO2 Simas received are: The Navy League of Canada Cadet Long Service Medal, 2 Gold and 1 Silver Award from the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board Mathematics Competition, Top Marks in Mathematics with an average of 99.9%, Honour Roll for all 4 consecutive years, Top Debater in Toastmasters, received the Youth Leadership Program Certification from Toastmasters and 2 letters of commendation for community service from Mr. Parm Gill, Member of Provincial Parliament for Milton. She also won the HMCS YORK Leadership Award, Best Drill Member, Top Shot Award, and the Award of Recognition from HMCS YORK.
CPO2 Simas lives in Mississauga with her parents, her brother and a big black cat named Sherlock. She is currently finishing her High School studies and hopes to pursue a degree in Arts and Art History at the University of Toronto this September.
Cdr Kelly Williamson MMM CDSenior Public Affairs Advisor
Commander Kelly Williamson, MMM, CD, is a trusted leader and effective communicator who has served Canada with distinction as a Naval Warfare Officer in Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Algonquin and Vancouver, and as a Public Affairs Officer.
From Haiti to Nepal, Afghanistan to West Africa, Commander Williamson has
demonstrated leadership, strength and resilience while protecting the high seas,
supporting Canada’s Expeditionary and Special Forces, and on highly visible
humanitarian assistance and global engagement missions.
Williamson has served as Executive Assistant to the Director General International Security Policy, and as a Senior Public Affairs Officer at Canadian Joint Operations Command; the Strategic Joint Staff; Maritime Forces Atlantic and 5 th Canadian Division. She has served as Director Navy Public Affairs since January 2018 and was promoted
to her current rank in March 2018.
Commander Williamson has been recognized for outstanding leadership. Kelly was
named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2017 and 2020. She was
invested into the Order of Military Merit in 2019 and was awarded a Commander, Royal
Canadian Navy Commendation in 2020.
Kelly holds a Bachelor in Military and Strategic Studies from the Royal Military College (RMC) (2000), a Master of Arts in Communication from the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University (2002) and a Master of Defence Studies from
Commander Williamson is committed to raising awareness of issues related to diversity and inclusion and is an advocate and volunteer with Veterans Emergency Transition Service Canada.
Kelly is married to John Williamson. The couple welcomed their daughter Charlotte
Tessa Abbigail Williamson on July 2 nd , 2020.
Danielle DoggettFounder & CEO, SAILCARGO, INC.
Danielle grew up on Canada’s Great Lakes, sailing on the brigantine St. Lawrence II at the age of 13, later signing onto the infamous cargo ship Tres Hombres in the Dominican Republic in early 2010, which introduced her to sail-powered shipping. Named by the Royal Institute of Naval Architects (RINA) as one of the most influential women in the industry of the past century, she is an adviser to the Caribbean Sail Training Association. She has worked on large projects with SAILMASTER BV in the Netherlands and Germany: the Peking, Gorch Fock and Shabab Oman II. As captain of schooner Ruth, flagship of Barbados, she wrote & implemented the launch, which is the largest ship to be launched in the history of the country. Danielle is currently responsible for orchestrating and harmonizing the CEIBA S.A. crew and fellow owners of Ceiba, she works diligently to keep the project as running smoothly as possible at the ”mangrove shipyard” in Costa Rica, AstilleroVerde.”
Libby DrewFerry Operator for the Frontenac Howe Islander
Libby Drew is a Ferry Operator for the Frontenac Howe Islander based out of Kingston, Ontario. She began her maritime career at Tall Ship Expeditions, St. Lawrence II formerly Brigantine Inc. back in 2004 at the age of 14. After completing the program in 2008 she continued working on traditionally rigged sailing vessels on the Great Lakes and East Coast.
She studied Film & Media at Queen’s University, where she still hosts a weekly dance music radio show, but instead chose to pursue a career on ships. During her 17 years in the maritime sector, she has worked for organizations such as Tall Ships America, Sisters Under Sail, and Class Afloat. She primarily works on the vessels themselves, but has also worked on the shore side of things, handling: marketing, fundraising, program development, and grant writing.
At her current job for the County of Frontenac, she is the only woman working on the ferry, but hopes to see that change in the near future.
Maggie OstlerChief Operations Officer, Picton Castle
Maggie Ostler is the Chief Operations Officer of the sail training ship Picton Castle, based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Picton Castle is best known for world circumnavigation voyages and operating the land-based Bosun School, a marine skills enhancement program. Maggie first joined Picton Castle as a trainee crew member on the ship’s fourth World Voyage in 2005 and has spent two and a half years at sea, sailing over 50,000 nautical miles. She holds a Bridge Watch Rating and is certified as a Marine Facility Security Officer. Maggie is involved in the sail training industry as a director of Tall Ships Canada and the chair of this year’s Tall Ships America Conference Committee.