Education: Stanford Graduate School of Business, M.B.A. 2005; Wellesley College, B.A. 2000, Dual major in Political Science and Spanish.
Years in the marine industry: 5
What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned working in the marine industry? The marine industry has a powerful network and by tapping into that network and gaining the buy-in of some of the industry’s heavy hitters, Boatsetter has been able to gain traction, brand recognition and credibility as a new player in this well-established space.
When I conceived the idea and began to create a boat sharing network, I knew I was in unchartered waters. One of the accomplishments I am most proud of is convincing the world’s leading marine insurer to create a new class of peer-to-peer boat sharing insurance policy. Together we developed what is now considered the “gold-standard” for coverage in the boat sharing market. Securing that insurance deal was the pivotal factor that launched the peer-to-peer market in the marine industry, and not just for my company but for the entire industry.
It has been important to me personally and a key touch point for the boating industry as a whole to place a top priority on safety. Boating is the ultimate form of fun; but only after all safety considerations are carefully addressed.
What advice do you have for women starting their careers in the marine industry? I know that when I began to feel happier in my career – and perhaps even perform better – is when I stopped asking myself, “What can I do to fit in?” and instead asked, “How can I be myself but still kick ass in this environment?” I have also learned you have to be extra resourceful and extra savvy and often need to work two times harder than anyone else in the room. I’ve definitely had to overcome some biases, but I’ve also learned how to turn that into my competitive advantage and make it work.
And I strongly believe that to be successful as women, we have to be true to ourselves, trust our gut instincts and surround ourselves with other strong women to keep us on our toes. The queen bee effect and the old trend of women not helping each other are in the past.
Also, I would say make sure you understand the inner workings of the boating industry. If you are an expert on your subject, you will quickly gain respect and many obstacles will fade away.