Sophie Shaughnessy 1 - You've got to make these guys realize you are their boss
Name: Sophie Shaughnessy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Service: 1994 - present
Job: Marine Engineer Officer
Sophie Shaughnessy joined the Navy in 1994, and completed her basic officer training at Dartmouth. Her first job after training was as Deputy Marine Engineer Officer on HMS Grafton 1996 to 1998. She served on HMS Grafton again between 2003 and 2006 as the Marine Engineer Officer. This was the first time a female had held this post on a frigate.
Sophie is married to a naval officer and she currently works ashore at the Navy's Maritime Commissioning & Trials Agency.
In the clip below she explains what it was like in her first proper role on board HMS Grafton.
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Extract Text (Duration1.23)
But going back as a Deputy Engineer, as I say this is back in '98 now, it's your first actual role, you are then part of the management, you then have a role to help run this department and for the first time, you know, the senior rates, who can be in their sort of late 40s, getting toward the end of their careers, you are their boss, you are their line manager, you write their reports and to some of them, you know, as a 26 year old girl that was really difficult for them to accept. So that was I think that the hardest time was as I say, you're there, you just joined and you've got to make your mark, you've got to make these guys realise that you are the boss etc etc. And I sometimes have to really steel myself before I walk down, what we call on to two deck which is the working deck, the officers tend to live on one deck in their accommodation, and I would have to really sort of steel myself and say, "Right I'm going to go down and I'm going to go and talk to this particularly grumpy Chief and I'm going to tell him that, look yesterday I found this, this and this which was incorrect or wrong or needs tidying up and, you know, you need to."and that would, 'cause I know the way he would just sort of look at me in that sort of contemptuous type, oh God, what do you know, and I would just have to physically steel myself to do it.
You've got to make them realize you're their boss
1.23 mins - mp3 File
At action stations
1.21 mins - mp3 File
They wouldn't answer a female voice
1.53 mins - mp3 File
I still like it when blokes hold doors open for me
1.53 mins - mp3 File
I always prefer it when he's on an all male ship
1.48 mins - mp3 File
Making an appointment to get my hair done
1.25 mins - mp3 File
I was the first female frigate marine engineering officer
1.29 mins - mp3 File