Women in Yachting – Part 34: Liz Cox, Cecil Wright & Partners

This month we’re talking to Liz Cox, Partner and Operations Manager at Cecil Wright & Partners about how she got into yachting.

As the yachting industry continues to grow, more and more women are making a significant impact on this traditionally male-dominated space. Here, YATCO takes the time to get to know some of these women – from all areas of the market – and highlight the important work that they contribute to the industry.

Liz Cox is Partner and Operations Manager at Cecil Wright & Partners.

What drew you to the yachting world?

It was all rather an accident if I’m honest, but one that I am forever grateful for. Initially, I arrived in the South of France for a gap year and was only meant to stay for one year before returning to the UK to continue my studies. But I fell in love with the area, the people and the industry; it was just so different to Birmingham!

How did you get your start in yachting?

Yachting was quite different in the 1990s when I arrived but like most, I did a bit of daywork until I quickly realized that crewing wasn’t for me!

I decided to concentrate on finding a shore-based role and was fortunate to quickly find a position working for Camper & Nicholsons – initially in their crew agency in Cannes, and later in their brokerage offices in London, where I met Chris Cecil-Wright.

Who are some influential people in your life that you look up to?

Difficult question…being a female in yacht management roles has always had it “challenges.” However, there have been a couple of captains who have always supported me and appreciated my work ethic (they know who they are!) and of course Chris, whom I am still working with after nearly 30 years in the industry.

What are some challenges you face and how do you overcome them?

Life is full of challenges, large and small, but if I had to select the hardest challenge of my professional career, I would say being seen as an equal in a male-dominated sector of the industry has been the most frustrating. As to how I overcame it? It’s still a work in progress but persistence, determination and self-belief are great qualities.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in the yachting industry?

The industry has changed so much in the last 30 years, with many more opportunities for females, so I would say go for it and follow your dream. Be honest with yourself, work hard and strive for longevity in the beginning of your career.

What is the most rewarding/enjoyable element of your job?

When a client contacts you out of the blue to simply say “thank you.” Whether that be for assisting in a sale, the purchase of their dream yacht, finding them their perfect captain or just for having done your job well. Sometimes, it is the little things in life that really do make the difference.

What is your favorite thing about working in the yacht market?

The people that you meet along the way, some of whom remain lifelong friends.

What are you currently working on and what keeps you motivated? 

Life at Cecil Wright is never dull, which is motivation in itself! Working in a smaller company, with like-minded people who respect your experience and knowledge, is exceedingly rewarding.

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