Women in the Marine Industry event attracts packed crowd at METSTRADE
The Women in the Marine Industry International networking and panel discussion event returned to METSTRADE on Thursday 16 November, bringing over 200 people together at the METSTRADE Theatre for a breakfast networking session and industry leadership panel.
First launched in 2022, the Women in the Marine Industry International event, hosted by British Marine, Marine Industry News, Soundings Trade Only and METSTRADE, and supported by Barton Marine, has been heralded as a tremendous success by organisers and attendees alike.
Niels Klarenbeek, director of METSTRADE, and Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, offered opening remarks. These were followed by the event host, Michele Goldsmith, vice president and general manager of Soundings Trade Only, who introduced the morning’s panel of dynamic female leaders from across the globe, including Gemma Gonzalez, Yachting Business Unit director, Gruppo Boero; Laurie Louvier, vice president marketing, Dometic; Michelle Hildyard, vice president product management & business development, Raymarine; Nicky Vaux, partner & business development manager, Empire Marinas Group, and host of The Boat Princess podcast; Rachel Bridges, vice president of Aftermarket Products, Cummins Global Marine.
During the panel discussion, the speakers shared their experience, expertise and insights as female executives to a packed theatre, and an engaged audience of men and women, with discussions focused on business leadership, AI, technology sustainability, and the future of the marine industry.
“I found it very interesting to be part of the panel,” says Gonzalez. “For me, the most important thing that we discussed today, apart from the environment and digitalisation, was how we can use the lifecycle assessment. For me, this event provided the opportunity to inspire and motivate the new generation and how they are going to work in the coming years.”
Vaux comments: “It was great to be on this year’s panel at METSTRADE. The more women we get on the stage inspiring other women, the better. The more we talk about the changes in language we need to make, the support that we need for men and women to be strong in the industry and the more excitement we put out to the world about being in the marine industry the more we can get women in the industry. That’s what I love about doing events like this. It’s been fantastic to be involved.”
Fellow panellist Hildyard adds: “My takeaway from today has been the number of people that came to see me after the session to say how my stories resonated with them. I really hope that I’ve inspired some people in the industry, both women and men. There are so many jobs in the marine industry for all types of talent, all types of people and for me, you don’t have to be technical to come into the industry. It’s a great industry to work in; it’s so friendly and so much fun.”
Sophie Mogford-Revess, operations director at LGM Products, attended the event. “The event was excellent,” she says. “It is so important that events like this happen in our industry. It’s really needed. The fact that it’s promoted and supported by a lot of big names is excellent.”
Lyndsay McClay, commercial manager at Marine Industry News, has been a driving force behind the Women in Marine movement and in bringing this event to fruition. “This second Women in the Marine Industry International event has been absolutely fantastic; it has been lovely to see it grow,” she says.
“We had so many more people attend this year, and we had an amazing panel. Michele did a fantastic job as our event compere once again, and it’s wonderful to be a partner of this amazing event. Long may it continue growing and evolving to support women in the industry.”
Speaking of the event, British Marine CEO Robinson says: “Once again, this has proved to be an incredible event, with an inspirational panel of women. We have been delighted by how many people have joined us today. It just shows that there is a real appetite for inclusive events of this nature.”
Goldsmith adds: “The Women In Marine Industry International event offers a place to gather as a community, a place for men and women to learn, as all genders are welcome, a safe place to ask questions and a place to be with others who have reached levels in their industry where they can inspire the next generation going forward. I think the goal is to offer skills, tools and a path forward that will allow women in the next generation to reach new levels and to excel in their goals and ambitions.”
In closing the event, Robinson added: “I would like to thank everyone who joined us here today and, of course, my thanks to all of our speakers, METSTRADE, Soundings Trade Only, Barton Marine and Marine Industry News for bringing this all together. I hope everyone enjoyed the informative, insightful and engaging conversation as much as I did. We will be issuing a feedback survey to all attendees and very much welcome your comments and observations so that we can develop these events and see them go from strength to strength.”
The Women in the Marine Industry International panel discussion was recorded and will be made available at the METSTRADE website in the near future.
Marine Industry News has also joined forces with the organisers to launch a Women in the Marine Industry International LinkedIn page, focused on female professionals working in the recreational marine industry, which the industry is invited to join and connect through.