While progress has been made, the reality is that only 2% of the world’s mariners are women. But not at Celebrity Cruises. The line is leading the industry into a more diverse future with its bold initiatives to #BRIDGEthegap.
Now, Celebrity, the brand that made headlines by hiring the first American female cruise ship captain, Kate McCue, and again by announcing that 22% of its bridge teams are made up of women, is continuing with another historic milestone – the announcement of the first-ever sailing with an entirely female bridge and officer team.
This historic sailing will take place on International Women’s Day – March 8, 2020 – aboard the brand’s newest ship, Celebrity Edge. Captain McCue will be at the helm and will be accompanied by 26 other women to create an all-female bridge and officer leadership team, as well as Celebrity’s president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.
“We are all passionate about closing the gender gap,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “Over the last few years, we have worked hard to diversify the crew on board and bring more women than ever into our industry. None of this could have been possible without the leadership and shared vision of the extraordinary men and women I work with every day, led by Patrik Dahlgren and Brian Abel – who take this challenge to heart and have made it possible. We are fortunate to have many incredible, experienced and beyond-qualified women who have worked tirelessly to achieve these positions. And we also celebrate the many men who continue to support them and help champion having more women crew onboard.”
Senior vice-president of Global Marine Operations for Royal Caribbean Crusies Ltd. Patrik Dahlgren, who has spearheaded Celebrity’s bridge diversification efforts under the leadership of Lutoff-Perlo, added: “Since 2015, we have raised the percentage of qualified women on our navigational bridges from 3% to 22%. Now, we hope this all-time industry-high will continue to grow; we just need more women to raise their hands for careers at sea, especially in engineering.”
As part of this one-of-a-kind sailing, Celebrity is curating unique specialty programming, including evening gallery exhibitions and art auctions featuring female artists, celebrating the female form; collaborating on an exclusive design with luxury jewellery designer Reout Kallati; hosting special events, such as a cinema series featuring iconic and impactful female directors, leads and inspirational narratives; and other dedicated onboard programming, including Women of the World-themed trivia challenges, Fearless Female Officers vs. Guests Pool Volleyball tournament, and a Q&A panel with the ship’s inspiring female leadership team.