A Step Forward for Gender Equality in Italian Ports

Culture - March 14, 2024

Laura Abbruzzetti became the first woman in command of a tugboat in Ancona

In the heart of the port of Ancona, an unprecedented event has captured the attention of all those dedicated to the maritime world: the appointment of Laura Abbruzzetti as the first woman to command a tugboat. Only 35 years old, originally from Civitanova Marche (Macerata), Abbruzzetti left an indelible mark on the history of the Doric port and the Port System of the Central Adriatic Sea. Her appointment was greeted with warmth and support by the president of the Port System Authority of the Central Adriatic Sea, Vincenzo Garofalo, who took the opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March, paying homage to all women who work in the Adriatic ports. “Good wind!” said Garofalo, expressing his appreciation for Abbruzzetti’s courage and determination in reaching this goal.

Laura Abbruzzetti boasts a long and stimulating career in the maritime field. She has sailed on oil tankers in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, experiences which have enriched her knowledge and given her a broader vision of the maritime world. However, one of the most unforgettable moments of her career was when she first sighted the Northern Lights while sailing in the Northern Hemisphere. His rise to command of a tugboat was no accident. Abbruzzetti followed an intense training program lasting 12 months, according to the company procedures of the Trailer and Rescue Company (SERS). This program included specific courses on the operation of azimuth tugboats and port towing maneuvers, preparing her fully and thoroughly for the challenges that await her in her new role.

President Garofalo proudly underlined Abbruzzetti’s professional excellence, recognizing her commitment and her passion for the sea. Work in ports is challenging and often difficult, but it is also rewarding and inspiring for those who share a deep connection with the sea. Garofalo expressed gratitude towards Abbruzzetti and all the women who work in the ports, recognizing their essential contribution to the smooth functioning of the port system. On the occasion of her nomination, Laura Abbruzzetti was welcomed on shore by the regional director of SERS, Vincenzo Amanti, and by the crew of the tugboat Musone. President Garofalo, together with the general secretary of the ADSP, Salvatore Minervino, presented her with a special plaque to wish her “Good wind!”, symbolizing his best wishes for her future and for her success in her new role.

This historic moment in the port of Ancona not only celebrates the rise of Laura Abbruzzetti, but also highlights the importance of inclusion and diversity in the maritime sector. Her appointment paves the way for other women who aspire to have careers in the maritime world and represents a significant step towards greater gender equality in ports and maritime industries. Laura Abbruzzetti is a shining example of determination, competence and courage, and her success will inspire future generations of women in the industry. Italy is proving to be a cutting-edge nation in relation to the age-old issue of gender equality, especially in the professional field and many initiatives have already been undertaken to demonstrate support for the female gender. Equality and the valorization of the female gender has always been a fundamental topic of the Italian government process since Giorgia Meloni became Prime Minister, the first woman in the history of the Italian Republic. The celebration of women and their undisputed working abilities will serve the economic and working evolution of Italy and will serve as an example for other European nations where the gender gap remains a problem to be solved in the shortest possible time.

Alessandro Fiorentino