To live my life as an independent woman

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“I came to Norway and Haugesund, because I wanted a chance at a good life as a woman. Here, I’m given the opportunity to grow, develop and progress as much as I want.”

“I was the only woman in my hometown with an education as a ship building engineer. As a woman, finding a relevant job in my own country was very difficult at the time. Fortunately, times have changed, and the situation is much better for a woman’s career in my city now.”   

A country with opportunities 

34-year-old Marjan Eftekhari lives in Haugesund, Norway. She´s from Iran but has heard stories about Norway since she was a little girl.  

– My aunt lives in Norway. She speaks so warmly about Norway and Norwegians.  

Still, leaving her country, her family and her friends was a difficult decision to make.  

– I come from an old family in Iran. There are many rules, and my culture is strict when it comes to women. A woman shouldn´t go out alone and should never leave the city alone. Luckily, the situation has improved, but at the time it was difficult. I remember thinking that I didn’t belong in my own city. 

Marjan had a bachelor’s degree in the marine industry, but new it would be difficult to find work.  

– I knew it was impossible to find that kind of work in my city. I could not find a related job because in my city the marine industry was a manly industry, and at the same time, I couldn´t go to another city and work and live alone, since it was not acceptable for my family. Fortunately, times have changed, and the situation is much better for a woman’s career in my city now.  


Instead, Marjan started working in a travel agency. After five years there, she decided to look for work in her own field - the shipping industry.  

– I had bigger ambitions than marriage and children. So, I started learning English, and I searched for a place to study for a master’s degree. At first the plan was Australia, but I was abruptly stopped by the pandemic.  

Marjan applied in several countries. During the pandemic, Norway turned out to be the only country available to international students.  

– I found my place here in Norway. I even met my boyfriend here! We were studying together, but he never actually came to school, as he was working at the same time. We had a Teams meeting, and he came to school the next day and asked me out. That was the only time I saw him there. Now we live together.  

In the spring of 2023 Marjan also found her first job in Norway within her field of expertise. Deep Ocean is a technology-driven, independent ocean services provider. The company offers companies within oil and gas, offshore renewables, deep sea minerals, and other non-energy niches a full range of services – from surveys, engineering, project management, and installation to maintenance and recycling.  

– I´m so happy! I must have applied for at least 150 jobs. In fact, I had two offers, but I chose Deep Ocean in Haugesund. I will be working on a vessel offshore, analysing data collected by the ROV´s. I can´t wait to get out there! 


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