In celebration of International Women’s Day and the International Maritime Organisation’s Gender Programme ‘Women in Maritime’, we chatted to Lisa Ward, Karen Calladine and Dominika Thomas, senior members of Equiom’s yachting team to hear what’s on their agendas and whether they think women are well represented in the maritime industry.
What do you do in Equiom’s yachting team?
Lisa: I am one of three senior managers based in the Isle of Man, which organise and oversee corporate structuring and financial planning for the owners of private jets and superyachts.
Dominika: I primarily look after superyacht crew management, payroll and marine compliance.
Karen: I manage one of the Y&A teams in the IOM office, looking after a portfolio of clients that own superyachts and private jets.
What are the hot topics in maritime right now?
Lisa: Post Brexit we are seeing superyacht owners being more decisive and arranging importations into the UK/EU (where they may have held back previously). We’re also seeing and enjoying the fact that Isle of Man yachts owned by non-EU clients can use temporary admission within the EU now, which they couldn’t do before Brexit. This essentially grants them free circulation in EU without having pay VAT for up to 18 months.
Dominika: The leading topic among superyacht crew is still the pandemic because of ongoing travel and quarantine restrictions impacting repatriation – we continue to adjust many crew contracts with special addendums to work for the benefit of the captains and crew members.
What are your thoughts on women in maritime?
Lisa: I think women are very well represented in the industry from the corporate side. There’s a good balance throughout a variety of roles and some highly respected female leaders, which is always great to see.
Dominika: On the crewing side however, there is still a big gap when it comes to the senior positions like Captains and Chief Officers. According to the International Maritime Organisation, women represent only 2% of the world’s seafarers.
Why did you get into maritime?
Dominika: Before moving to Jersey, I did a degree in marine transportation and administration in Poland. I joined Equiom’s crewing team in 2009 and haven’t looked back since!
Karen: After university, I started out as a management trainee within a shipping company and became a ship broker working with bulk carriers and container vessels. I then side stepped into yachting in 2009 thinking the two would be similar - in reality the only similarity is they are both on water!
Lisa: I worked for a corporate service provider on the Isle of Man and an opportunity came up in what was then a really small yachting team – since then the industry has grown exponentially here the Isle of Man.
What do you love most about your role?
Dominika: I love the big events like the Monaco Yacht Show – there’s nothing like meeting clients in the ultimate home of superyachts. I also really enjoy dealing with superyacht captains and managers, solving their problems daily.
Lisa: The nature of the industry means that every day is different. I also work with a fantastic and diverse team; there are 37 of us, 21 are ladies and we have people from many different nationalities.
Karen: I love the fast pace of the work and particularly getting involved in all the transactional work involved with looking after high value assets. Assisting clients to buy and sell superyachts worth millions of pounds is really exciting.
And just for fun, tell us your favourite….
Ship yard: Feadship
Yacht: An 80m with lots of water sport toys (think I’d leave the helicopter at home)
Charter destination: Galapagos Islands
Guest: I’d best say my husband
Ship yard: Sunreef yachts
Yacht: 40m Sunreef explorer with jetski, wakeboards, and maybe a floating bar… Plus multiple TV screens so I could live stream my ‘water adventures’
Charter destination: Caribbean
Guest: Ryan Reynolds
Ship yard: Benetti
Yacht: 70m would do, with all the usual tenders and toys. A swimming pool and gym are a must!
Charter destination: Caribbean
Guest: Adam Lambert