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Celebrity Cruise Line: Making history with its first women-led sailing

Women only account for 2% of the total mariners globally. Meaning to say, they are very much in the minority when it comes to the cruise industry. However, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, the President and CEO of one of the world’s renowned cruise line companies, Celebrity Cruises, is taking an initiative to transform gender equality in cruising.

In the year 2015, she appointed the first-ever American woman captain of a cruise ship. To date, Celebrity Cruises has an unprecedented three female captains. In addition to that, this cruise line company also has some of the industry’s most impressive numbers for employing women. There’s a total of 22% qualified women on the line’s navigational bridges which is 3% higher in 2015.

The President and CEO wanted to honor and give importance to the upcoming International Women’s Day happening on March 8, 2020. In line with that, the company will make history and again, breaks barriers. It just announced that there will be the first-ever cruise-ship sailing to have an all-female bridge and officer team, a total of 27 female employees on board. The historic and inaugural sailing will take place on the newly-launched $1 billion Celebrity Edge cruise ship with Captain Kate McCue.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo was appointed five years ago and from that moment, she felt like she has to do something since she was given an opportunity. And she wanted to be fair as possible especially with regards to the balancing of gender in the industry. Such a position entitled a huge obligation and she wanted to use the chance to make a huge difference.

Celebrity Cruises is the only cruise company that can sail a ship with all-female mariners in control since that has been their focus for almost five years now. In every aspect of the entire brand, the company has enough women who can completely man the bridge. There are also women leaders in every aspect of cruise operation. To give you an idea, Celebrity’s chief security is an Israeli woman.

The assigned captain on the historic sailing next year, Captain McCue is very much excited in meeting all of the other women who will be on board with her. Rest assured that it’s going to be an overwhelming experience not just for the women mariners but also the guests. She compared it with Ocean’s 27 since 27 women will be in charge of the ship.

It was already planned that during the cruise, the Celebrity Edge cruise ship will be running a cinema series featuring those iconic and impactful female leaders and directors with inspirational narratives including the Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel films. There will also be a gallery exhibition and auctions which also feature female artists. Besides, there will be women of the world-themed trivia challenges, a pool volleyball game with fearless female officers competing against the guests. Lastly, there will be a segment of a question and answer panel with the ship’s inspiring female leadership team and also showcasing unique networking opportunities.

Lutoff-Perlo indeed makes a difference to the world. She wants everyone to keep making progress and reiterate that allowing women to such roles is needed. She hopes to inspire the whole next generation. With that, she shares her best career tips that can help everyone. Do take note of these.

Dream big, there’s no need to sell yourself short. Regardless of the field where you are now, dreaming big is very significant. But still, numerous people, most especially women hold themselves back because they were not given an equal opportunity and don’t see themselves in certain roles. She thinks there’s an underlying perception that if you don’t start at the top, you can’t get close to the top. Regardless of where you’ll start, always dream big. Just be patient, it may not be your time now, but definitely, the right time will come.

You need to understand that paths aren’t linear. She thinks that people shortchange themselves because they have these linear paths but then they are not flexible when it comes to doing other things. She set herself as an example. She says that, if she didn’t have the chance to work in a different position in their company, she will never fit on the role that she is in now. The path which she didn’t know during that time has led here though this isn’t something that she intends to do. Her ambition is to be the head of sales.

You need to find an advocate more than a mentor. You need someone who is going to support and fight for you and even help you to get where you want to go. An advocate is someone who initiates to make things happen. On the other hand, a mentor is somebody who gives advice.

It’s okay to phone a friend. She was given different roles which she has no idea about. She asks someone for help and such action is not a sign of weakness but strength. If you want to ask something, don’t hesitate. This is also something that Captain McCue learned. Anyways, you’re just going to ask and you’ve got nothing to lose. Don’t be afraid to use your voice. If you have brilliant ideas, voice it out or put it there. It also helps in building one’s confidence. Lastly, it’s better to pay it forward. It gives extreme satisfaction to Lutoff-Perlo. Helping people achieve their dreams is a great feeling.

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