Superyacht crew: diverse or outdated?
On the face of it, the superyacht industry lacks diversity, but is more going on behind closed doors than we realise?
Walk the docks of Monaco this September, and on display as much as the yachts are their crews. I hate to say it, because crew, like anyone, should be given their job on ability and ability alone. But alas.
Up and down the docks you'll see healthy, sunkissed crew (many of whom, I should point out, will have been chosen because of, or as well as, their ability). But appearance is a huge part of yachting, and while I disagree with the prominence a crewmember's appearance has when it comes to getting them hired, particularly when the industry continues to bemoan a lack of quality crew (why limit ourselves to crew who only look a certain way?), I, like so many others, evidently don't have such a big problem with it - after all, I'm still working in this industry, even if I sometimes question its morals.
One reason why so many crewmembers blur into one tanned, well-presented man or woman, is because of the relatively small pool of nationalities they're from. Now I'm not saying crewmembers are hired or not hired because of their nationality, but rather an at-sea career in yachting is only really prominent in a handful of countries.
But two stories recently got me wondering, should we be looking for more diversity on board, or is it already there and perhaps we just don't notice it?
A captain of a 90m+ motoryacht told me of his 36-member crew, there are 15 different nationalities, and this in turn "makes the boat feel more human". An ex-chief steward of a 100m+ motoryacht told me his owner wanted his crew to be a microcosm of society, made up of different genders, races and sexualities. Both, I think, are fantastic, and should be wholly applauded.
There is one common denominator here, and that's size. You wouldn't, quite understandably, expect 15 different nationalities to make up a 15-person crew. More crewmembers means more options, and means greater possibility for diversity.
It's very easy to say the supeyacht industry lacks diversity, and in most instances I think this remains the case. But we have to remember much more goes on behind closed doors than we are necessarily privy to - in every sense of the word. But it would be nice to shout a bit more about ways our industry is encouraging diversity, whether that be gender, sexuality, nationality or, dare I say it, appearance.
Is your superyacht diverse? Let us know. Email Lulu Trask at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your stories.
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