West Marine has committed to promoting women within and to the marine industry. In a typically male-dominated sector, West Marine’s two new female executives are inspiring change by creating an environment in which women have more opportunity to participate professionally and recreationally.
Traditionally, women have represented a smaller segment participating in water sports. Recent industry studies show that the tides are changing, and women are finding passion within the world of water now more than ever with more female captains, more women boat owners and more females working in the maritime industry. The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Take Me Fishing Report said that 19.4 million women went fishing in 2021, up from 2019.
West Marine recognizes the need to incorporate more diversity within the industry. The company’s new Chief Commercial Officer Stacey Renfro, who comes to her role with a personal passion for boating, is leading West Marine’s growth strategy.
“For anyone who dreams of being on the water, we are making it convenient and fun for them to get involved,” Renfro said. “We are expanding our assortment of exceptional products and focusing on providing expertise that you simply cannot find anywhere else. We are hyper-focused on creating experiences that turn our customers into raving fans."
West Marine is promoting diversity within the industry as well. A diving and boating enthusiast, Cheryl Miller, West Marine’s chief financial officer, will be a featured panelist at the “Women in the Industry Summit” on Sept. 26, 2022, hosted by IBEX. Cheryl will share her perspectives as a female leader in the industry alongside other executives from a variety of marine segments including boat, engine, and component manufacturers.
“It’s thrilling to see the influx of women who are excited about boating and fishing. Reaching them is a part of our overall strategy of serving the boating community better than anyone on the planet,” Miller said. “Our mission is more water, less hassle. We want to make the water accessible to everyone, and that includes women, men, and people with diverse backgrounds from enthusiasts to pros, hobbyists, and newcomers,” said Miller.