The adventure sailing company 59 North is reserving two bunks on all upcoming voyages for women. The move is to help make participation in its programming more inclusive, encourage more women to give offshore passagemaking a try, and gain confidence in their skills.
Historically, about a quarter of the paying sailors joining 59 North programs have been women, but the company is looking to raise that number to about half and half. The company’s 12-strong team of skippers and mates is already evenly split between men and women.
If the two reserved bunks are not booked by women, they will not be filled. “This is a values-based decision; we are not prepared to undermine our goal of making sailing more inclusive in order to make small financial gains,” says mate Emma Garschagen.
Furthermore, the company is betting on the new policy lowering the barrier for entry on their passages, ensuring that female participants will not wind up as the only woman onboard. Laura Ladenheim, who has participated in the program before, said, “I was the only woman on my trip with you all, and it was still wonderful, but I do think it would have been great to have another female present.”
For more on 59 North’s gender equity goals, visit 59-north.com/women-offshore