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.

Captain Nicola Fawcett, formerly of the 48.8m CHASSEUR, forged an excellent reputation as a charter captain. Why is this still unusual?
Captain Nicola Fawcett, formerly of the 48.8m CHASSEUR, forged an excellent reputation as a charter captain. Why is this still unusual?

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…

She of the Sea aims to promote women crew in every area of yachting, not just stewarding
She of the Sea aims to promote women crew in every area of yachting, not just stewarding

'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.

Mentoring, in guidance and support, makes such a difference to career options and prospects
Mentoring, in guidance and support, makes such a difference to career options and prospects

'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

Mentee Alice Kent with mentor Will Dallimore on board HQS Wellington at an HCMM event in London
Mentee Alice Kent with mentor Will Dallimore on board HQS Wellington at an HCMM event in London

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.'

Alice Kent

Alice Kent

The HCMM Mentorship Scheme has many advantages for the mentee

Alice Kent

Alice Kent

It means Alice has a highly experienced person to turn to for professional advice

Alice Kent

Alice Kent

Alice receives support and encouragement from Will at a crucial stage in her career development

Alice Kent

Alice Kent

Through Will she also has access to experience in most maritime matters

Alice Kent

Alice Kent

The Scheme also gives her a full, balanced vision of her long term professional development and career choices

Alice Kent

Alice Kent

For his part, Will gets the satisfaction of knowing he's played his part in giving someone the best possible career start and made a difference in terms of levelling the playing field

Lorena Gimenez, Assistant Crew Manager at Burgess

Burgess Yachts

We spoke to Lorena to find out who inspires her day by day to do the work she does.

'It’s a little predictable I know, but I have always found Emmeline Pankhurst and her team of suffragettes hugely inspiring. As female political activists in the 1900s they faced huge opposition in their battle to give women the right to vote. They made huge sacrifices in their personal lives and were arrested on numerous occasions over the years, suffering violent force-feeding during their hunger strikes. And yet they never gave up, continuing to fight for what they truly believed in. The bravery, emotional and physical strength and determination they showed through the years of public ridicule and setbacks is truly inspiring and shows that we should never underestimate the power of a fearless woman!'

Burgess Yachts

As part of the hugely busy and successful Burgess Crew Services team, you run the programmes of education, welfare and awareness for the approximately 2,000 crew employed through BCS and, indeed, for our office colleagues. Informative, interesting and thought-provoking, we really enjoy reading them and I think it’s safe to say that we’ve probably shared them among family and friends too!

'That is so inspiring in itself to hear! We all lead such hectic lives and I truly believe that we should all do more to help and support each other. We started our awareness weeks to encourage everyone to look out for each other and to spread the important message that there is support out there for everyone. No problem or concern is too small and we should all take time to be there for our friends and professional colleagues.'

#EachForEqual

An equal world is an enabled world.

We can all make a difference. How will you help forge a gender equal world? Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.

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