The 8th of March marks International Women’s Day around the world and this year Fraser is shining a light on a traditionally male dominated superyacht role: the Engineer. Earlier this month, Fraser took some time to speak with Mary Krieg, Engineer on board the 36.88m M/Y NOMADESS about her career path and the role of women within the yachting industry.
Q.What inspired you to pursue a career in this sector?
A. "Being on the ocean is a great life and a great challenge. It teaches you to be self-sufficient, multi resourceful and very creative. I loved my extensive time on liveaboard dive boats, assisting crew with their duties, so I eventually turned boats into my career. First as a dive master, then Chef and Mate, and now Captain and Engineer."
Q.What excites you about your job?
A. "I've been on world cruising programs for 17 years. I love seeing and experiencing the world and its oceans. Creating exciting programs for Owners and making their dreams come true becomes quite a speciality, along with a crew dynamic that allows positive performance. Ensuring everything runs to schedule takes huge amounts of planning and execution. Having everything run to full efficiency is very fulfilling."
Q.Have you seen attitudes/culture change since you started your career?
A. "Sadly, initially no. Women in Officer positions are still the exception. A woman must prove herself and then do something unique. Female Captains and Engineers are becoming more greatly accepted and supported now. The biggest muscle we all use is our brain and women have the added benefit of being able to multitask at a high level."
Q.What do you think discourages women from yachting’s engineering sector?
A. "Ha ha... you can't keep nice fingernails. No seriously, the marine industry has traditionally considered the engineering positions " a man’s world" and women haven't felt comfortable challenging managers and Owners to take these roles. "
Q.What advice would you give to young people considering engineering as an option?
A. "It helps to have a broad knowledge of boats, getting experience in many positions as well as assisting the Engineer, along with lots of sea miles and getting appropriate maritime qualifications."
Q. What advice would you give to a woman that wants to take their career to the next level?
"Believe in yourself and your abilities. Take opportunities that allow you to advance, and always learn."
With the 2018 International Women’s Day campaign theme being “Press for Progress” and the subject of gender parity ever present, these words resonate deeply and Fraser is proud to be associated with strong and passionate females such as Mary inspiring the next generation of ‘yachties’.