Boatsetter Celebrates International Women’s Day: The History and Future of Women in Boating

This year for International Women’s Day, Boatsetter is celebrating how far women have come in the boating industry and highlighting some of the amazing women using Boatsetter today. We are passionate about inclusivity in boating and aim to make boating truly accessible to all.  

A Brief History of Women in Boating

Women have come a long way in the maritime industry. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they risked their lives disguising themselves as men to earn a living working aboard ships. The easiest way into the industry was to be the daughter or wife of a captain. The captain’s wife would often assist in managing the ship’s finances or navigate when their husbands and crewmembers were ill.

Following the tragic events of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States Navy expanded its fleet. On the East Coast, women made up 15- 20% of the workforce at Boston Shipyard coordinating ship production. On the West Coast, during peak production in 1943, ~65% of the shipyard workers were women. Although more than half of this workforce of women were welders, there was an unsurprising lack of representation in leadership positions. When ship production significantly decreased after World War 2, so did the number of women in the maritime workforce.

The Modern Mariners 

Today, although women are anything but limited when it comes to the maritime industry, according to the IMO, they represent only 2% of the workforce and of the 1.2 million total mariners, 94% of women work in the cruise industry. Despite this, girls growing up today certainly do not limit themselves when it comes to their dreams.

Boatsetter Making Waves for Women

At Boatsetter, we are passionate about inclusivity in boating. We care about this from the inside out; not only are both our CEO and President women, but we also have an amazing community of women owners and captains.

“I think mindsets are evolving but I always get a surprised look when I talk about how I repaired electricity or fix a mechanical issue on my boat, or even on the water when I am on the boat alone.”  – Captain M Anicet

“When I hire captains or deckhands I do not look at gender I look at if someone can get the job done.” – Captain Pamela Power

“I do charters through Boatsetter to share my love of being on the water, I don’t need to, I do it because I love it and few things bring me as much joy.” – Captain Jenna Ginsberg

Boatsetter is dedicated to making boating accessible and inclusive to all. CEO Jaclyn Baumgarten, mentions her team in a recent interview with Thrive Global, “My goal is to bring together diverse talent with unique worldviews, insights, and language skills. We are inspired by these women in the industry and hope their stories will influence more women to get on the water!

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