The awards are a fantastic way to showcase female achievement and our dear friends at World Leading Cruise Line (WLCL) – which includes P&O Cruises Australia, Princess, Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Seabourn, Holland America Line and P&O Cruises World Cruising – have decided to sponsor this year’s awards.
Speaking on this decision was the hotel director on P&O’s Pacific Adventure Melissa Yates, who recognised that the awards is a chance to highlight how her brands’ cruise ships can unite women from all over the world.
“We learn about each other’s cultures, beliefs and families. A cruise ship really is a unique and wonderful example of how people can come together in respect and harmony,” Yates told Travel Weekly.
This extends to employees where women who work on cruise ships feel they have every opportunity to succeed as their male counterparts, Yates said.
“There are on-board roles such as deck officers where efforts are being made to improve gender balance but, generally speaking, if you’re a woman prepared to give this industry your all — you know that you can succeed,” she said.
“I have found cruising to be a “meritocracy” where drive, intelligence, enthusiasm and leadership are the watchwords and gender is not.”
And the women at WLCL take this opportunity in full stride as they are seen across all divisions of the company at varying levels of seniority. Yates has experienced this herself, moving from working as a receptionist with Princess up to crew manager and then with P&O working as a finance manager, guest experience director and into her current role as a hotel director.
A key aspect of Yates’ progression has been the mentoring offered within WLCL.
“Mentoring is a great way for women to support other women. While I worked on Pacific Explorer, I mentored a group of female third officers. They were all new to the role and it was their first time experiencing life on a cruise ship.
“I helped them adjust to the cruise ship environment. One of them recently got in touch with me to let me know she’s now a Captain on a tugboat based out of Italy. That’s the first time a woman has had that role in that region. What an incredible achievement! I think there is so much to gain by women helping women.”
This, and the incredible opportunities offered by working in the cruise industry, is why Yates can’t recommend a career on the high seas enough!
“For young women looking for an exciting career involving travel, contact with diverse cultures with a merit-based career path and promotion structure, I would always encourage consideration of cruising,” she said.
“I have been fortunate to travel the world working with amazing colleagues from all corners of the globe. When it comes to diversity, there is truly no other environment like there is at sea. And that really is the point; in the modern cruising environment, outdated attitudes and conduct have no place and are challenged in short order. For women, it is a workplace where your gender doesn’t dictate prospects for success.”
A big thanks to Yates, WLCL and the rest of our incredible sponsors for sponsoring the Women In Travel Awards!
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