Celebrity Cruises announced the first all-female bridge team onboard its Celebrity Edge cruise ship for a history-making cruise that the company hopes will help bridge the gender gap in maritime.
The first-of-its-kind sailing will take place in recognition International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020.
The IMO estimates that only around 2 percent of the world’s estimated 1.2 million seafarers are female, 94 percent of whom seafarers are working in the cruise industry. Celebrity Cruises says that since 2015, it has raise the number of women on its bridge teams from 3 percent to 22 percent currently.
American captain, Captain Kate McCue, will lead a team of 26 other women representing 17 different countries to create the all-female bridge and officer leadership team on board Celebrity Edge. You may recognize Captain McCue for becoming the first-ever American female cruise ship captain in 2015 when she assumed command of the Celebrity Summit.
Celebrity Cruises President and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, will also join on the voyage.
“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, has spearheaded Celebrity’s bridge diversification efforts under the leadership of Lutoff-Perlo.
“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,” said Dahlgren.
Delivered in 2018, Celebrity Edge is currently finishing up its inaugural season in the Mediterranean and will return to the Caribbean later this month.
“Excitement does not even begin to describe how I’m feeling about working alongside these incredible, barrier-breaking women on Celebrity Edge for this truly historic sailing,” added Captain McCue. “I am inspired every day by the amazing women we have working throughout this organization – both on land and at sea. They’re proof that there’s power in diversity.”
The below all-women bridge and leadership team for this historic sailing of Celebrity Edge includes:
• Captain Kate McCue – USA
• Staff Captain Maria Gotor – Spain
• Hotel Director Niina Hautaniemi – Finland
• Guest Relations Director Julie Sherrington – United Kingdom
• F&B Director Byliana Velikova – Bulgaria
• Senior Doctor Jennifer Bernardo – Philippines
• Cruise Director Sue Denning – United Kingdom
• Safety Officer Ionela Burduja – Romania
• Associate Hotel Director Milana Dortangs – Netherlands
• Revenue and Marketing Director Sarah Guinot – France
• HR Manager Angel George – USA
• Financial Controller Teresa de Guzman – Philippines
• Chief Housekeeper Lyudmyla Miroshnychenko – Ukraine
• Safety Investigation Officer Alexandra Villarreal – USA
• Environmental Officer Maria Karoutsou – Greece
• Chief Security Officer Mor Segev – Israel
• Chief Officer Maria Koliou – Greece
• Chief Officer Maria Agius – Malta
• Doctor Sumaya Guffar – South Africa
• First Officer Rachel Arnold – United Kingdom
• First Officer Despoina Tsairi – Greece
• Third Engineer Anna Avgoustaki – Greece
• Second Officer Nicholine Tifuh Azirh, who was the first West African woman to ever work on the bridge of a cruise ship when hired in 2017 – Cameroon
• Second Officer Ioana Tzovara – Greece
• Third Officer Esperanza Romero – Spain
• Third Officer Cassandra May Mead – New Zealand
• Apprentice Officer Gifty Adu Gyami – Ghana