The IMRF is once again looking to raise the profile and awareness of women in the maritime SAR sector with the launch of its latest #WomenInSAR mentoring scheme.

The initiative, which is being funded by The Association for Rescue at Sea (AFRAS), will match female mentors and mentees, be they full-time members of staff or volunteers, from across the global maritime SAR sector and enable them to develop a positive relationship that will improve their capabilities and confidence in the maritime SAR industry.

The IMRF previously held a #WomenInSAR mentoring scheme in 2021 that was incredibly well received. Due to popular demand, the IMRF is bringing the initiative back to further improve the position of women in a traditionally male-dominated sector.

Speaking about her participation in the previous IMRF mentoring scheme, Amber Sheasgreen from RCMSAR said, “I'm so glad I participated in the #WomenInSAR mentorship programme. My mentor helped me navigate key career opportunities, expand my network, and to trust and have confidence in myself as a woman in the marine industry. Even after the initial programme wrap-up, we remain in contact and exchange thoughts regularly, and I am proud to consider her a colleague and friend.”

The most recent iteration of the #WomenInSAR mentoring programme will pair mentors and mentees every six months, with the next round of signups set to begin in August. Participation in the scheme is only available for women aged 18 or over. Mentors need to be from an active IMRF Member Organisation, whereas Mentees are accepted from the global SAR community.

“The IMRF has made great strides in recent years to improve the visibility and capabilities of women in maritime SAR. One of the key factors we have encountered during the wider project is for women to have greater access to suitable and inspiring characters that they can learn from and boost their capabilities in this crucial industry. The IMRF’s #WomenInSAR mentoring scheme will do just that and is set to play a major part in improving the recruitment and retention of women in our industry,” said Jaakko Heikkilä, International Programme Manager at the IMRF.

Click here to learn more about the current #WomenInSAR mentoring scheme, how to get involved and how the programme will work as either a Mentor or Mentee:

You can also find out more about the IMRF’s #WomenInSAR Initiative, including access to our #WomenInSAR Report and Guidance, here:

If you are part of an organisation that you think would benefit from a programme like this, click here to find out how to join us: