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Diversity, inclusion and innovation.

Three values which run to the core of our approach to yacht building and the yachting industry. Words which triggered our involvement in the LegaSea mentorship programme. A platform which founders Jenny Matthews and Natasha Ambrose hope will take the luck of the draw out of career progression in the industry both on board and on shore. A means to safeguarding future industry growth by building a sustainable pool of yachting professionals.

Behind the idea

For Jenny and Natasha, LegaSea was a long time coming and evolved from their original platform, She of the Sea. An organisation whose ethos is to combine the resources and network of the shore side industry, with the wealth of experience, knowledge and journeys of those working at sea. To move beyond out-dated career trends and stimulate sustainable growth and development to push yachting to its best. This has now evolved to a focus based on diversity, inclusion and innovation. And this is where we align. Jenny, Natasha and Rose explain how.

Jenny Matthews Co- Founder LegaSea

Natasha Ambrose Co- Founder LegaSea

Rose Damen Managing Director Damen Yachting

Jenny, why does our industry need a mentorship programme?

Natasha and I both recognised the importance of (and notable lack of access to) mentoring from our own experience. We are both Chief Mates (3000GTs) but have had different career paths. Natasha had the luck of having multiple, great mentors from day one, whereas I personally had not had the same experience and the resulting difference in our career experiences were incredible. We soon realised just how significant having an unbiased, experienced champion in your corner can be over the course of your career. From then on, we knew we wanted to create a platform that was not only intuitive and scalable, but inclusive and designed to support high-impact mentoring across all sectors of our industry. We found an incredible software, used by FTSE 100 organisations to facilitate their in-house mentoring, connected with arguably some of yachting’s most experienced and knowledgeable individuals, and the rest is history. We now have LegaSea.

Natasha, how does LegaSea work and who’s it for?

Individuals, in other words mentees, gain access to mentors of all genders, ashore and at sea, dedicated to seeing them succeed. They share a common drive to be part of a high performance, competency-focused yachting industry. We have built up strong representation from all departments on board, as well as shore side sectors, with new mentees and mentors joining all the time. The software we use is designed for high-impact mentoring, and individuals can be both mentors and mentees, ensuring every single person gains something with a circular knowledge loop. We also facilitate regular (online) networking events and workshops with inspiring individuals such as Rose Damen, Managing Director of Damen Yachting, and Tracy Edwards, who together with her team became the first all-female team to enter the Whitbread round the world race in 1989. It’s basically everything a passionate, career-focused individual needs to create and navigate their unique career journey.

Rose, why did Damen Yachting choose to get involved?

This programme is a fantastic opportunity to encourage diversity and growth in all forms within our industry. It also forms a unique platform to be able to share experience and knowledge that can really make a difference in people’s careers. At Amels and Damen Yachting we are strong believers in working with mentors and as mentors. The experience can provide valuable insight into personal development and even open your eyes to opportunities you never knew existed. We are very proud to be sponsoring the LegaSea mentorship.

As part of the Amels and Damen Yachting sponsorship, Rose recently took part in a live workshop for the LegaSea programme where she explained about the work culture at Damen Yachting and her role in cultivating the next generation of leaders and industry shapers by paying it forward, valuing diversity and inclusion, creating balanced cultures and embracing innovation.

Industry Hunger

And whilst LegaSea may be a new concept for our industry and has only been up and running for a few months, demand and desire to embrace such a resource has not been in short supply. This is a platform that is set to evolve and meet the proven industry hunger to professionalise the career paths available, make the industry more accessible and facilitate the cross-over from ship to shore. A valuable tool and community that recognises the human needs behind those working to keep the industry running.