To mark International Women’s Day this year, and the global theme of Each for Equal, we took time out to speak to women and men we know who are working to break stereotypes and encourage gender equality in the yachting industry, and to find out what inspires them each day.
She of the Sea
Awareness is on the rise for this exciting organisation, www.sheofthesea.com, set up by the inspirational Jenny Matthews and Natasha Ambrose, two female deck officers who wanted to use their positions to promote greater gender equality in the industry and show girls that there is a genuine path for working one’s way up through the ranks at sea. Their recently launched Gender Diversity Pledge contains a concrete set of initiatives and measuring tools to help those at sea and ashore address gender inequality in the workplace and help raise women up through support, awareness, training and, quite simply, communication. We spoke to co-founder Natasha Ambrose to learn more about her career and how she started out…
'A chance encounter with an ex Chief Officer Shelley Dowie in a quiet pub in England was where it all began. Seven years later I hold my Chief Mate 3000GT CoC and am the Co-founder of She of the Sea. I have been fortunate enough to be mentored and supported on my journey from some fantastic people, firstly Shelley Dowie the ex-Chief Officer I met in England and now DPA (Rosemont) secured me my first job as a deckhand on SARAH and has continued to guide my career since, Tony Browne who taught me Navigation & Radar at Bluewater and then went on to mentor me through my OOW oral prep, and Rod Hatch (Director of training at the PYA) when I was Second Officer on SARAH as one of the best Captains I have worked with.
'Individually and collectively they showed me how great our industry can be when you’re surrounded by the right people. Through She of the Sea we continue to unite our industry towards growth as we champion our vision for a high performing, competency focused industry regardless of gender.'
Second Officer Tallulah on ELYSIAN
Burgess Crew Services spoke to one woman who has made a great start to her yachting career.
Will Dallimore and mentorship
Through the auspices of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, Will is mentoring Alice Kent, a young woman working in the merchant marine, through her qualifications and working towards her OOW ticket.
'As a member of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners I was keen to take part in their well-established mentoring scheme to put to use the experience gained during my career at sea and subsequently in my role as Fleet Manager at Burgess,' said Will. 'In 2017 I was delighted to be appointed as Mentor to Alice who at that time was Deck Cadet with Trinity House, working towards her Officer of the Watch qualification.
'I have found it a very rewarding experience and I hope have contributed in some small way to Alice’s success in her exams and her promotion to Third Officer. I look forward to continuing to provide support and guidance to Alice as she progresses towards her Master Mariner’s certificate.'