In January 2021 the IMRF held the first #WomenInSAR webinar. The speakers were Theresa Crossley, CEO, IMRF, Julie-Anne Wood, Assistant Director Policy, Standards & International, UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Jess Shield, Marketing Executive, RNLI.

The IMRF’s #WomenInSAR initiative was launched in 2019 with the aim of supporting and raising the profile of women in the maritime SAR sector, to ultimately improve the representation of women and achieve a more equitable gender balance.

This first webinar highlighted some of the opportunities available to women. 

Julie-Anne Wood is now the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s Assistant Director Policy, Standards & International.  She joined the MCA in 1999 as a part time Coastguard Watch Assistant, based in Milford Haven, Wales.

Julie-Anne was the UK’s MCA’s first female Head of Maritime Operations, the highest position in the organisation’s operational structure at that time, and the first time in nearly 200 years of coastguard history that a woman had held this rank.

She talked about how women’s representation has changed over the years and how she worked her way up through different roles to hold the senior position she does today.

Jess Shields talked about the RNLI’s Women In Engineering (WinE) Project, one of a range of activities the RNLI organises with local students to encourage and inspire girls to consider training to become engineers.

Launched in 2016, the project has already involved 160 students taking part in hands on activities and demonstrations designed to show in simple engaging ways - how engineering underpins so much of what we take for granted day to day.

Click here to listen to the whole webinar again.

“In the past, 90% of the time we were using only half of our talent. Think about what would happen if we used all the talent for 100% of the time. It’s like having one hand behind your back…”

Warren Buffett, US Financier and Investment Expert