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Growing female participation in boating

by Michelle Macready 3 Apr 2019 00:44 PDT
Lisa Blair at Portland Victoria, Australia © Dean Coopman

The challenge of increasing female participation in boating and in boat buying will be addressed at Marinas19 International Conference and Trade Exhibition on the Gold Coast in May. The plenary session Chair on the topic is Nicky Vaux, Dealer Principal at Empire Boat Sales in Sydney. According to Nicky "it's the details and little changes to what we offer in our marina environment that can make all the difference in engaging women further in boating. We all know how important the female is in the decision of buying a boat so how do we market to women directly? Modern marketing techniques and engagement with women on social and traditional media will be explored as part of the way forward.

Another panellist is inspirational sailor Lisa Blair. Lisa said she is excited to be on the panel where she will share her first-hand experiences as a female in the marine industry and discuss initiatives and strategies that marinas can implement to further encourage women in boating.

Lisa said "in 2017 I led the first all-female crew to race the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in 16 years. We received over 130 applications to crew from around the world. During our application process we asked if women had faced gender challenges as females in the sailing industry and 95% said yes. They said they combatted this through working harder to prove themselves against their male counterparts and by keeping a smile on their face while doing so. The sad fact is that there is a gender gap but the gap is closing."

She went on to say "forums like this are a great way to create initiatives and strategies to further close that gap. I am excited to be a part of the panel discussion to further empower marina operators to support women in boating."

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