Thursday, 12th October 2017
The IMO is making a substantial global investment to integrate and encourage women into the traditionally male dominated maritime sector. As a female business owner in this industry, that makes total sense to Clare Blatchford-Hanna, the new owner of Anode Outlet & Zinga Outlet, as she has experienced some of the gender bias that comes with this territory. She has worked with and met all sorts of people from all sorts of places and yet still finds it astounding just how retro people's attitudes can be towards women, and also how few women there are.
In Feb 2017 Clare thought it about time she applied and tested her knowledge and skills, and combine it with an interest - boats. She bought a small online marine cathodic protection business to turnaround. Fortunately she has a sense of humour and plenty of experience of working in male dominated environments and is enjoying the challenge.
Less than 8% of the anode customers are female. Female Zinga customers are at 1%. Customers are almost all male across both leisure and commercial marine. All the suppliers Clare uses are male except one. This is why the IMO are behind the initiative, and Clare is glad. More women are needed to add their thoughts and ideas to help improve the future of the maritime sector - it keeps things interesting!
Clare's favourite moments so far include:
When meeting (male) competitors at trade shows and introducing herself:
•Staring and silence, followed by 'Sorry my colleagues can't speak, they're surprised it's a woman who owns the business now'
•Having answered the office phone with usual business greeting:
'Can you put me through to someone technical?'
•Having reiterated she could assist...
'Are you sure you can help me, because you're a girl…!'
•On emails asking for quotes:
'Dear Sir' (Need she say more..)
•From a supplier when purchasing parts:
'Do I make this out to your boss?' (Er, yes and that'll be Clare)
•And to Clare's advantage...of course, you've got to work the system to your advantage when you get the opportunity
Clare: flutters eyelashes 'Can I have an extra discount on that please?'
The male supplier: 'Oh go on then'
For further information please contact:
Anode Outlet & Zinga Outlet