METSRADE 2023 is hosting a variety of fantastic events – the second Women in the Marine Industry event being one of them. This event is presented by British Marine, METSTRADE, Marine Industry News, and Soundings Trade Only.
In this article, we share an exclusive interview with Michele Goldsmith, Vice President and General Manager of the Soundings Trade Only Group. Read on as she reflects on the first Women in the Marine Industry in 2022, this year’s event, and giving women the tools to cultivate the conditions for personal success.
About Last Year’s Event
What made last year’s event such a roaring success, that there had to be another one?
Michele elaborates on the groundbreaking event.
“There had never been an event was focused on women working in the marine industry at METSTRADE before. There had been a lot of content about a broad range of aspects of the industry as a whole. Only 2% of the industry is female. The event last year was the first to offer a place where women could gather, learn, network, and feel safe asking questions.
“It also gave them the chance to see and hear from women in key leadership roles who were impacting the industry, and learn from those women who very candidly shared how they got to where they were, their triumphs, challenges, how they make themselves heard. A wide variety of information and tools that the attendees could bring back to their everyday jobs.”
What was particularly impactful?
Michele reflects on a powerful moment, which occurred near the end of the event:
“When we asked for questions, the last question was actually a comment. It came from a woman from South America. She talked about the fact that this was the first time she had the opportunity to go to an event that was designed for her – where she could see people on stage that mirrored her.”
Michele also asked attendees if they thought that providing network opportunities for women was still needed in the industry, and the verdict was that such events were certainly needed.
A diverse panel
This year’s panel was chosen with great intention and care, and includes:
- 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, host of The Boat Princess podcast.
- Rachel Bridges: director and general manager, Cummins, Global Marine.
Such a diverse panel from around the world is sure to create an engaging and empowering conversation, as the panelists share valuable advice from their sectors, and across their differing positions, experiences and various locations. Michele discussed the desire to offer a panel with a global, wide ranging perspective for all attendees.
Making some changes
Due to last year’s high turnout, the size of the theatre has been increased so more people can attend! Also Michele, mentions that the order of the event will be switched up from how it was last year. This time, the chance for networking will occur after the panel and attendees conclude their discussion – to allow everyone to spend more time mixing and chatting.
Hopes For The Future
There is The Women in the Marine Industry International LinkedIn Group – where women can ask questions, events can be publicised, and employers can post jobs. You can find it here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/women-in-the-marine-industry/about/.
Community & empowerment
The goal, Michele says, is “to empower women to give them community where they can learn, ask questions, connect, find support from their peers, and network to help them advance their careers.”
We want them to have more opportunity, and we want it to be easier for them. Providing women with the tools of how to react – and how to engage situations where they can have conditions for success, be visible at their companies, and can take credit for what they’ve done.”
The event takes place on Thursday 16 November 2023 at the METSTRADE theatre – at the RAI in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 8:30am to 10:30am.
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