Year after year, women in yachting have taken a larger and more significant role in the industry. They are emerging as powerful, effective, and efficient – as much as men in yachting, and have gone beyond the role of charter broker. Here, YATCO takes the time to get to know some of these women – whether they are yacht sales brokers, shipyard coordinators or marketing masters. Here, you can get to know Rose Damen, Managing Director at Damen Yachting.
Featuring Rose Damen, Managing Director at Damen Yachting
What drew you to the yachting world?
My love of boats and the experiences these open up stem right back to my childhood. We spent many hours out on the water.
My father Kommer Damen even decided to fulfill a lifelong dream by taking a leave of absence from work to embark upon a sailing trip around the world with us in tow! So, I guess yachting, in one form or another, has always been part of my life.
How did you get your start in yachting?
I have grown up surrounded by shipbuilding – it’s our family business but I made the conscious decision to follow a different career path first. I wanted to experience other sides of business and work. I spent several years working in finance, both in London and in Asia, and this enabled me to bring additional and relevant skill sets to our family business. I eventually joined the yachting industry and Damen Yachting 5 years ago.
Who are some influential people in your life that you look up to?
My parents have certainly played a very important role. Not only in the way they raised me but also from a business perspective. They have always been very open about the family business, my father always explained it to me and I was allowed to join business trips with him if I wanted. That of course made a big impression on me but at the same time, there was never any pressure at all for me to join. That’s something I really respect.
Outside of my family, I think the biggest influence comes from my first real boss in London in finance. I have huge respect for him. He was always challenging me and had a really great balance of giving direct, sometimes even harsh feedback but also praise. He taught me that sometimes you just have to get on it with and never to be afraid to get stuck in but always do it with the right mindset.
What are some challenges you face and how do you overcome them?
We have grown a lot over the last decade and that brings challenges of its own from a company perspective but probably the biggest challenge has been the shift in mindset of how clients are starting to approach yachting. For example, those clients looking to push the boundaries of yachting as we know it which in turn asks more of us as yacht builders. At Damen Yachting I am very proud of how we have faced challenges like this and continue to do so. How we have diversified our portfolio to meet these very sorts of challenges and ensure we can meet the demands of all our clients and the changes in the approach to yachting.
What are you currently working on and how do you stay inspired?
All sorts and that really is what inspires me! I believe we never stop growing, learning and developing. It’s about continuing to apply that entrepreneurial family spirit to Damen Yachting.
Ensuring our portfolio diversifies to meet our clients’ yachting needs, growing the company and the people within it and maintaining strong relationships with owners and their teams, captains and crews. And all the time, staying very much a family business. Working as a family, remaining dedicated to our craft and feeling connected to the product we deliver.