International Women’s Day: The cruise line championing gender equality

08 Mar 2022 | Updated on: 27 Sep 2022 |By Luxury London

On International Women’s Day, the team at Celebrity Cruises discusses its commitment to fostering diversity in the maritime industry

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Celebrity Cruises®

Celebrity Cruises® is an innovator in more ways than one. The luxury cruise line boasts a litany of world-first experiences, from pioneering excursions to spa and culinary offerings, but its trailblazing efforts don’t stop there. In 2015, Celebrity Cruises® welcomed captain Kate McCue as the first American woman to captain a mega-ship.

In an industry notoriously dominated by men, Celebrity Cruises® is challenging the status quo by championing gender equality and diversity throughout its teams. Only 2% of the world’s seafarers are female, but on Celebrity’s ships, you’ll find a different demographic: 32% of officers on the bridge are female, fleetwide. It was also the first line to welcome a West African woman on the bridge.

Kate McCue made history in 2015 by becoming the first American woman to captain a mega-ship

Captain McCue, whose social media accounts have almost 3.5 million followers across TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, is set to helm the revolutionary new Celebrity Beyond® ship, which will make its maiden voyage in April from Southampton to Barcelona. McCue previously captained Celebrity’s flagship, Celebrity Edge®.

“We are all passionate about closing the gender gap,” comments Lutoff-Perlo, chief executive at Celebrity Cruises®. “Over the past few years, we have worked hard to diversify the crew on board and bring more women than ever into our industry. 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.”

It is a longstanding tradition for a new ship to be appointed a godmother, who historically brings good luck to the vessel. Celebrity’s esteemed and diverse line-up of godmothers includes Pakistani women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai, who is godmother of Celebrity Edge®. The godmother of Celebrity Apex® is Reshma Saujani, an American lawyer, politician and founder of the nonprofit organisation Girls Who Code, which works to close the gender gap in technology. The godmother for Celebrity Beyond® is due to be announced imminently.

On International Women’s Day 2020, Celebrity Cruises® arranged another world-first – setting sail with an all-female bridge and officer team, from 17 different countries. Embarking from Fort Lauderdale, the seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyage made history and remains a feat unmatched by any other cruise line. Guests aboard also enjoyed a celebratory programme of speakers, films and documentary screenings selected to inspire a new generation of girls and women to pursue careers in the maritime field.

The first all-female bridge and officer team to set sail on a cruise ship

Celebrity Cruises® is committed to attracting more females onto its decks, offering training and employment opportunities. “We’re really focused on gender diversity and gender balance because we absolutely know that a diverse team makes for a better team,” says Jo Rzymowska, vice president and managing director at Celebrity Cruises®. “We don’t look for the best person for the job per se, we look for the best person for the team, and diversity makes the best team.”

“I am inspired every day by the amazing women we have working throughout this organisation – both on land and at sea,” adds McCue. “They’re proof that there’s power in diversity.”

Captain Kate McCue will helm the pioneering new Celebrity Beyond® ship, which makes its maiden voyage in April

Celebrity Cruises® is a cruise line with a conscience. It always strives to provide the best holiday possible for its patrons, but it also cares about making positive changes in the lives of its guests and employees. Join Celebrity Cruises® this summer around Europe and experience the cruise line leading the way first-hand.

Discover more about Celebrity Cruises® commitment to diversity and inclusion here