A recent Conde Nast Traveller article chronicles the plight of women in the maritime industry, especially in the cruise shipping industry and how they are pacing up the ladder, changing the tide for better.
Making their presence felt
Women now make up between 18 to 20 percent of the industry’s entire workforce, and 5 to 22 percent of cruise ship officers (for perspective, women constitute just 4 to 5 percent of the pilot industry in North America).
One of those women is Kate McCue, the first American woman to captain a cruise ship. She’s the current master of the Celebrity Equinox, soon-to-be master of Celebrity Edge, the cruise line’s newest (and arguably most significant) launch to date—and our Women Who Travel guest for this week.
Juggling career and family
Tune in to hear us chat with McCue—who to our envy was anchored at the port of Grand Cayman at the time of recording—about how she fell in love with life at sea and what she does (and doesn’t) miss about life on land, as well as juggling her family with a career that keeps her traveling most months out of the year.
“This is my 23rd year at sea, so this is my normal,” says McCue. We also grill her on how she got her start, the importance of female mentorship, why we still refer to ships in the gendered tradition of “she,” and let her set people straight on what it actually means to be a ship captain.
“If you can see it, then you can be it,” says McCue, who was featured as one of Traveler’s “Most Powerful Women in Travel” in March. “For a lot of women there may be the perception of the stereotype of a woman captain and I just want to smash that because, basically, there are no rules. You can do whatever you want to do. You can be whatever captain you want to be.”
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