Gently Down the Stream
Espino de Marotta spent her career aware of how few women there were around her and in higher positions in her field. If she was not the only woman in her workplace, she was often one of only a handful. “Every time I was promoted or moved lateral to another job, it was a man who chose me and a man who I replaced,” she said. “There were no women ahead of me opening doors or giving me advice, but I never needed it. I had such good mentors, bosses and coworkers that I never dwelled on it.”
When her pink hardhat and vest garnered international media attention, however, Espino de Marotta saw an unexpected opportunity to inspire women around the world. “I would tell people, ‘Don’t be afraid to take on challenges,’” she said. “I never shy away from any job. I never knew for certain how I would tackle a new position, but I trusted myself to learn.”
The canal expansion was finished in 2016 to much fanfare. In 2017, Espino de Marotta graced the cover of Forbes Central America and was listed by the magazine as one of the continent’s 50 most powerful women. In 2019, her journey came full circle when she and her colleagues greeted cadets from Texas A&M at Galveston’s Maritime Academy passing through the canal aboard the T/S Golden Bear during a summer training cruise.
Today, Espino de Marotta is the deputy director of the canal, addressing long-term issues such as maintaining a competitive advantage in the shipping industry and improving water conservation. “If you’re an engineer and you like to learn, there are so many opportunities out there that will fulfill you,” she said. “Once you know the real power of engineering in everyday life, you can feel it and see it and live it.”
Espino de Marotta received her Texas A&M undergraduate degree thanks to generous scholarship support. To learn how you can assist aspiring students at Texas A&M University at Galveston, contact Rick Kline at (409) 741-4030 or by submitting a message using the form below.