Burgess has pledged to work alongside She of the Sea to ensure that success in the yachting industry, whether as superyacht crew or as an employee of a full service superyacht company like Burgess, is down to ability and nothing more.
The pledge to which we have signed up reads: 'We are committed to building practices and cultures that actively facilitate, cultivate and celebrate diversity and inclusion, at all levels, throughout our organisation, and our industry.'
She of the Sea was founded in 2018 by Jenny Matthews. Having qualified as an officer of the watch, it suddenly dawned on her that she had never worked with another female in her eight years as deck crew. She asked herself the obvious question: why? What is stopping very able people from succeeding in this industry?
The stated aim of the organisation is to see the industry perform at its best by embracing and cultivating talent, passion and dedication irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity or orientation. To work towards that end, She of the Sea works with superyachting partners to move consciously beyond the legal requirements of compliance and work towards an industry based on competence alone.
Lorena Gimenez, Assistant Crew Manager with Burgess Crew Services in London, says: 'Crew are the heart and soul of every successful yacht and Burgess is committed to promoting an inclusive and safe environment for them all. As industry leaders we pledge to open discussions regarding equality, diversity and inclusion and to carve the path for fair recruitment and employment practices.
'Our goal is to help our managed yachts to have the best individuals in the right positions, where everyone is treated fairly and can reach their full potential. We have introduced diversity into our social media postings and job advertising and will endeavour to offer a diverse range of candidates. Throughout 2021 we will be presenting a series of webcasts, webinars and podcasts to open discussions on diversity, equality and inclusion.
'We appreciate that the industry has a long way to go, but by working together we believe that we can create an impact. Together, we can remove barriers and talk about what is possible.'
Burgess joins other pledge signatories including shipyards like Amels, educational establishments such as Solent University and industry bodies like MYBA. We are all committed to working together towards a diverse and inclusive yachting industry.
It won't happen overnight but with steadfast partners willing to make changes internally, it will happen, and our industry will be the better for it.