Marina Jachthaven Biesbosch: An inspiring example of female leadership

Our more progressive members in the Netherlands represent a proud 60% female marina managers and amongst them, indeed throughout the entire TransEurope network, Marina Jachthaven Biesbosch is the only member where for the last year, women hold both the manager and harbour master. Inspiring days indeed!

Jachthaven Biesbosch

Marina Jachthaven Biesbosch team, with manager Renate Ilmer (centre) and harbourmaster Marie-Louise Schaafstra on her left.

With 1400 berths Marina Jachthaven Biesbosch is one of the largest inland marinas of Western Europe and despite the downward trend for boating, the marina is growing successfully.  Assistant Project Manager Auke Ferbeek describes: “We think main reasons for our growth is the service level of our marina and the location right next to natural park ‘De Biesbosch’. Our permanent staff contains 6 people of which 3 are female and 3 male. Next to that we have an equally representative team of 6 holiday/flexible workers. I think that diversity in gender and age is a big benefit for our marina. It brings a lot of ideas for keeping our service and customer friendliness at high level.”

So given such low stats across the board in Europe for women in top marina positions, what has driven this situation in Biesbosch?

“The answer to this question is actually pretty simple. Both Renate our marina manager and Marie-Louise our harbour master were already well qualified with plenty of experienced for these positions. Renate started at our marina as office manager, so more an administrative job. As she got to know the marina this way very well and has management skills, she was the first choice when the marina manager post opened.

Marie-Louise, who has held this post now for 13 years, was well experienced, having worked in boating for many years. That’s how she was selected out of more applicants.

I think it’s a great asset to have both a female marina manager and harbour master working. We like to think of our berth holders and visitors as guests and customer care is one of the most important things over here.”

So is this a question of civic culture working more optimally in the Netherlands?

“In the Netherlands women are working in high positions for quite a while already. Our culture allows this. Discussion about women working in higher positions and women having equal salaries as men is going on for many years already. I think this makes employers more open towards hiring women and focussing primarily on skills and experience rather than gender.

Marina Jachthaven Biesbosch’s success speaks for itself. They offer this advice and encouragement for other women looking to join the industry: “Go for it! We think the industry can definitely use more female input. There’s a lot to gain in customer care and customer friendliness.”

To contact the marina, write to info@jachthavenbiesbosch.nl or visit their website: www.jachthavenbiesbosch.nl

For similar articles, read: Women in the Marina Industry and International Women’s Day: Renata Marević, Manager of Marina Punat, offers advice for women.

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