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International Day for Women in Maritime

Yachting instructor, Emily Caruso, shares why the tides are turning for women choosing a career on the water…

UKSA is an Isle of Wight based maritime charity, which has a strong belief and passion for inspiring and supporting children and young people by broadening their horizons through water-based adventures, education and training for careers at sea.

Recently they have announced a 150 percent year-on-year increase in the number of women taking up their Superyacht Cadetship course. For this year’s maritime day, yachting instructor, Emily Caruso, shares why the tides are turning for women choosing a career on the water.

Caruso, 45, from Somerset, left her career in marketing 15 years ago to pursue her dream of being a freelance sailing professional and channels her passion for promoting inclusivity and a broader, more diverse representation of the industry.

“The question of inclusivity is directly related to the culture that exits within the maritime sector and therefore it is the responsibility of every single person involved at every level. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has accredited 80 percent of accidents ad incidents within the industry to ‘human error’ and so our focus for change should be around better people management, emotional intelligence and leadership skills, all of which promote a safer culture and in turn a more diverse representation.” Says Caruso.

Caruso believes that the change is already highlighted just by the increase in women taking part in UKSA’s Superyacht Cadetship course, thus also challenging the idea that the industry is always going to be a male-dominated field.

“I have always believed segregation does nothing for equality instead I prefer to make female inclusion appear as the norm, I find it frustrating that the media often still use the prefix ‘female’ in a headline about a sailing story. Media representation overall however of course has an impact on recruitment and we have good coverage of the high achievers, such as within the Ocean Race, the Vendee Globe and our amazing Olympians. The Sail Training community boasts numerous remarkable sailors that dedicate their careers to changing the lives of young people that would never otherwise have the chance. Incredible women amongst them, running complicated and impressive vessels with often challenging and diverse young crew, demonstrating that anything and everything is possible.”

According to Caruso “a life at sea represents the very essence of freedom, a luxury many of us took for granted before the world began to lock down”

“The growth in interest in superyacht industry can only be positive and given the current momentum, we are one step closer creating that new ‘norm’. Imagine the potential talent that is out there, if only we can be open and honest enough to accept that we have a long way to go and that we all have our part to play.”

The talents and skills of women in maritime will be celebrated annually on 18th May 2022.

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