Celebrating women in the superyacht Industry
Aline Amauger, Human Resources Director MB92 La Ciotat
This series of interviews showcases the remarkable talent, passion and determination of women in our organisation and throughout the industry. Our goal is to continue to raise awareness on the issues surrounding gender equality (not just on International Women’s day) and encourage more women into this exciting sector.
We kick off this series with Aline Amauger, Director of Human Resources in La Ciotat since 2016, who, having begun her career in the French Navy, explains some of the challenges facing women in our industry and how we can overcome these.
Who or what inspired you to take the career path that led you to where you are today?
I come from the Atlantic coast and have always been aware of professions related to the sea. When I was very young, I was sailing every summer on the island of Oléron and I wanted to do a job in the marine industry. This is how I came to join the French Navy to work in naval aeronautics electronics. As women were only just becoming accepted on board, I left the military for a new life and to be able to start a family.
After a successful retraining in human resources, I held positions in various companies in different sectors of activity before happily returning to my passion for the naval sector at MB92.
Have you experienced any issues in the workplace?
Sadly, we still sometimes see sexist behaviour such as inappropriate comments in our shipyard, but this behaviour has become increasingly rare in the last five years. I think that the #Metoo movement has a lot to do with this.
For my part, I have been used to working in a male environment since the start of my career and I am happy to see that things are changing.
How do you feel progress is being made (if at all) in this industry?
Since last year the French government has required companies with more than 50 employees to publish a gender index. MB92 La Ciotat received a score of 94/100 this year which is really very satisfactory for the second rating. This score is calculated according to 4 criteria; the pay gap, the pay rise gap, salary increase on return from maternity and the representation of women in management positions.
Last year, the representation of women in the company was 26% compared to 18% in 2019, a good figure for our industry but with a lot of room for improvement, nevertheless.
We are actively trying to feminise the company in order to reduce the gap, but it is not so easy since we operate in an industry that attracts few women. We therefore have a real communication job to do with young women who are not familiar with our industry and its trades, and who are about to make important career choices. At present, they are insufficiently informed about our industry or have a distorted image and are often not sufficiently oriented towards technical professions. Unfortunately, the steps we had planned to take to improve this situation in the schools of our region have had to be postponed because of Covid…
It is particularly difficult to recruit women in our technical professions or for project management because very few women apply. Nevertheless, some women do occupy important operational roles in our shipyard such as Marion Gornet (Projects Team General Manager), Marie Hercelin (Senior Project Manager), Charlotte Dimet (Projects Team Administrator) and the Executive Committee in which we are two women with the CFO, Stephanie Dem.
“It bothers me slightly that we include women when discussing “diversity”. It seems to me that we should not be at that stage and that there should no longer be any excuse for gender inequality.”
What more needs to be done in your opinion in the workplace or wider industry?
First of all, we need to educate and raise awareness among teenagers and women in order to attract them to a career in the marine industry.
We also need to continue our diversity program. MB92 La Ciotat obtained the Empl’itude label again at the end of last year, which attests to our policy in favour of access to employment and professional integration. This includes an inclusive recruitment policy, offering recruitment and training opportunities to people in the process of reintegration or with disabilities.
However, it bothers me slightly that we include women when discussing “diversity”. It seems to me that we should not be at that stage and that there should no longer be any excuse for gender inequality in France, whatever the profession.
Do you have a message or piece of advice for others who may feel inspired to follow your path into the refit industry?
Male or female, I would give the same advice. It is better to be passionate about sailing or yachting, which is a very unique world. Passion is one of the most important criteria when we recruit, as is character. It takes a strong character to flourish in our industry!
Add these qualities to technical know-how and interpersonal skills and you will be ready to take up the challenges and demands of our profession that, without passion, would be very difficult.