Women in Boatbuilding CIC launched their first official mentoring programme on International Women’s Day 2023 last week, with the support of The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.
The programme will offer 10 boatbuilders the opportunity to be matched and mentored by women working in the industry in a similar or complementary role. The aim is that monthly meet-ups will help focus, support and progress women in the industry – and their stories will encourage more women to join it. The mentors will also be supported in the programme with zoom meetings to review progress and address any challenges, as well as providing a focus on their own career development.
Women in Boatbuilding founder Belinda Joslin has been getting to know women in the industry and the issues they face since the start of WIBB on Instagram in 2021. “By creating a supportive community, we hope to retain professionals so that they can grow their skills and become the boatbuilding leaders of the future.”
Applications for mentee positions are now open on the Women in Boatbuilding website for a month: www.womeninboatbuilding.com The pairing process will then take place, and mentorships will start in May for 10 pairings for 10 months.
Laura Budgen, Prime Warden of the Shipwrights, has been an active follower of WIBB on Instagram. “The Shipwrights are delighted to be helping the Women in Boatbuilding team take their CIC to the next level – by mentoring women working hands on and showcasing their work on social media, we hope more women are inspired to join and remain in the marine industry.”
Also on International Women’s Day, the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis announced their first Women’s Workshop course – Introduction to Woodworking. The course is a collaboration between the BBA, Amy Stringfellow and Women in Boatbuilding. Amy Stringfellow is a boatbuilder and boatbuilding tutor (see W135 May/June 2019) as well as one of the four directors of WIBB, together with Belinda Joslin, renowned traditional boatbuilder and storyteller Gail McGarva and boatbuilder and education consultant Heike Lowenstein. The aim of the 4-day course is to encourage and inspire women to learn practical skills in an inclusive and relaxed environment; learning the basics of woodworking, including joinery, steam bending and furniture making. The course will run from 2-5 May: www.boatbuildingacademy.com