Mrs Shaw says that studying for her professional qualifications was a worthwhile career investment, even if it impacted negatively her social life for a short time. Also, she suggests to only focus on the important things and delegate others when necessary. Overall, it is important to 'work to live not live to work' she concludes, meaning that it is worth putting family, and friends first as much as possible.


SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?

Natalie Shaw: I answered an advertisement placed in People Management Magazine.  I was particularly interested in joining a trade association and this job seemed to be a particularly good fit.


S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?

N.Sh.: The variety of the work and topics that I get involved with.  No two days are ever the same.


S4S: When you think of the word successful who's the first person who comes to mind and why?

N.Sh.:Esben Poullson, our Chairman.  He has had a varied and hugely successful career following his early days  as a cadet on board a vessel to being involved in a diverse international career today.


S4S: Who is/was the most influential person/mentor to you & why?

N.Sh.:Dr Dierk Lindemann , one of the initial drafters of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006, had a huge impact on my understanding on our sector when I first joined the industry.  His compassion and willingness to take risks when necessary has stayed with me but most importantly his willingness to change the status quo when necessary.


S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you've ever been given and why?

N.Sh.:The best advice is to do what I think is right when required and to trust my gut instincts.  The worst advice was when I was at school and encouraged to follow a traditional safe career for a woman not to consider something different.


S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?

N.Sh.:Going to university and then doing a master’s degree and studying for my professional qualifications in my own time.  It was hard and it negatively impacted on my social life for a short time but it has opened doors for me which otherwise would have been shut.


S4S: If you could give a piece of advice to your 18-year-old-self one thing, what would it be and why? What piece of advice should you ignore?

N.Sh.:Go with your heart, work hard and go for the perceived unobtainable goal – someone will achieve it , why should it not be you.


S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?

N.Sh.:Focus on what is important, never try to do everything yourself, delegate when necessary and get rid of things which are of little real value and which drain your time,


S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?

N.Sh.:The old ideas which often limit where we can go as a sector.


S4S: What is your personal motto?

N.Sh.:Work to live not live to work.  Put family, and friends first and always try to do the right thing by people.



About Natalie Shaw, Director of Employment Affairs, International Shipping Federation and International Chamber of Shipping

Since joining ICS in March 2003, Natalie has been actively involved in the development, adoption and implementation of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention 2006 and discussions on the ILO minimum wage, Crew Claims and Abandonment, the Revision of the STCW Convention, and the human element concerns related to Piracy to name but a few examples of the work carried out.  Prior to this role she worked for Ford Motor Company in a plethora of Human Resources Management roles. Natalie is a Director for the Sailors Society is also actively involved with the International Committee for Seafarers’ Welfare. She is also the Secretary for the Shipowner Group at ILO.