Why Female Yacht Crew Should Shoot for the Moon

In an industry that is male-dominated, female yacht captains are still a rarity. But as more and more female yacht crew members continue to gain significant experience and rise in the rankings, the tide is beginning to turn. Look no further than the success of Captain Sandy Yawn to see what can be achieved! However, it still is not easy for female crew to break through that glass ceiling.

Yacht jobs for female crew members, especially roles like first officer, chief engineer, or even bosun, are plentiful. But the reality remains that as a woman working in yachting, you will most likely be at the bottom of any list of possible candidates when applying for these roles, regardless of experience or qualifications. This is partly due to the old-fashioned mindset that still exists in yachting, but don’t let it defer from pursuing your dream career as a captain. Women on yachts are just as physically and mentally capable as men of carrying out all the tasks and responsibilities any senior role may call for.

Better leaders?

Several studies indicate that women are actually better suited to leadership than men. A 2017 study from the BI Norwegian Business School assessed the characteristics of nearly 3,000 managers and found that women were better leaders than their male counterparts in almost all areas. Women outperformed men in four of the five categories, including showing initiative, clear communication, sociability, and systematic management. Interestingly enough, these are all the key areas any captain would need to excel in to succeed – so why is it that women on yachts are more fearful of climbing the career ladder?

Training and hard work

It may seem daunting to some female yacht crew to begin their journey to become a captain, but remember everyone starts somewhere. The yachting industry is diverse, so it is essential to remain in the sector where your career goal is. Becoming a captain on a yacht of any size requires perseverance, dedication, and due diligence. So don’t be afraid to start out working as a deckhand on larger yachts before moving to a more senior role. Yachting recruitment agencies and experts often recommend beginning a yachting career here. Some women on yachts feel they are not given the same opportunities for promotion as their male peers, but with hard work, patience, and training, it will happen.

Education is also crucial when it comes to taking on senior roles on yachts, so gain as many qualifications as possible and take up every offer to learn a new skill and train whenever you can. Don’t be afraid to ask other crew members to share their knowledge as well – taking a proactive approach to problem-solving will help others become more confident about your leadership skills. Overall, as a woman working on a yacht, you will have to work harder, have more patience and persevere against all the odds. But the most important thing is to have confidence in your own abilities.

For female yacht crew members, anything is possible, so why not shoot for the moon?


Image with thanks to Dophin Wear Deckers (DWD).