Happy International Women's Day 2018! To celebrate this day, we spoke to influential women from across the yachting industry to hear their inspiring top tips for women who want to get ahead in what is often perceived by many to be a male-dominated industry.
Katya Grzeszczak Jaimes
Katya Grzeszczak Jaimes is a Sales and Charter Consultant for IYC.
"The topic of women in yacht brokerage is actually a very 'near and dear' subject to my heart. It’s a fascinating and potentially highly rewarding industry, and as such, it appears very attractive yet very intimidating to many. It was not easy for me breaking in some ten years ago. I had to figure everything out on my own, but having ladies as role models and mentors such as Terry Hines, Barbara Dawson, Ann Landry and Barbara Stork made all the difference. Cultivating courage and perseverance in ourselves as women are key to making it in this high stakes, high tension, fast-paced industry."
"The yachting industry is divided in such unique way that more than 90% of all charter brokers in the world are female, and, on the contrary, more than 90% of all sales brokers in the world are men. Having now made a transition into selling mega yachts as well, I feel male yacht brokers accepted me as an equal and professional colleague as soon as I was able to prove myself as a capable and strong sales broker. Seeing female yacht captains out there makes me extremely happy. I’m excited for this industry and for the world, in general, today as I see glass ceilings being crushed all around."
Carla Demaria is the President of Monte Carlo Yachts, President of the Board of UCINA (the Italian Yachting Federation) and is also a member of the board of directors of the Beneteau Group in France.
“I am often asked what my recipe was to succeed in such a male-dominated profession. I believe that passion, competency, consistency, and risk-taking are all necessary, but there is one fundamental thing that women have to equip themselves with: self-esteem. Often women do not dare to ask for progress because they think they are not up to it. In order to change this female attitude, I also believe that it is important that women who have succeeded are out there leading the way for other women."
Bonnie McIvor is the managing director of the superyacht project management company, McIvor & Team.
"My experience in the yachting industry has been extremely positive. I would encourage anyone with drive and heart to pursue or continue a career in our industry. My company is a boutique firm focused on project management and auditing. Whilst we don’t fit a typical business model, each year we thrive with repeat and new clients. We operate on a few foundational principles, which are to work with like-minded individuals and build strong teams, that flexibility and structure are not mutually exclusive, and that you should measure success on your own terms."
Maria Grazia Franco
Maria Grazia Franco is the Captain of the 72.1-metre superyacht Stella Maris.
"I always believed that through hard work, commitment, enthusiasm, preparation, studying, continuous investment in yourself, and love for your job, sooner or later you could achieve what you wanted. It could be a hard and long road for a female in the yachting industry, but if you want to make this job your life career, you have to accept it. And get up after every failure, no matter how many times."
"Yes, it may take you more time to get where you want to compare to your male counterpart, but use that extra time to your advantage, to be better and more prepared than your counterpart, when your time finally comes. And don't use difficulties as an excuse for giving up. Believe in yourself, believe you can do it, don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Love what you do, no matter what. Only if you don't love it enough is it not worth the fight."
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