It's 11:25 AM Tuesday morning. I'm sitting here in the 4th row at the Miami Beach Convention Center listening to the final moments of the Cruise Shipping Miami (CSM 2013) State-of-the-Industry speeches by the cruise line executives.
Before me the kings of the cruise industry are speaking: Royal Caribbean President Adam Goldstein; NCL CEO Kevin Sheehan; Celebrity Cruises President Michael Bayley; Carnival President Gerry Cahill; HAL CEO Stein Kruse; MSC CEO Pierfrancesco Vago; and Silversea Cruises Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio. Plus a keynote speech from World Travel and Tourism Council President David Scowsill.
My first thought as I scanned the panel of cruise executives on the stage in front of me this morning: Do you have to be a white male to speak about the state of the cruise industry at CSM?
This is essentially the same all men-in-dark-suits line up from prior years. Where are all of the women cruise executives?
Looking around me, I see some plenty of women in the audience. Why are there no women on stage talking about the future of the cruise industry? Seven suits and ties on stage and not a single cruise line executive in a dress or high heels.
Is the cruise industry the least diversified business in the U.S.?
I work in a law firm where the smartest lawyer is a woman; where the hardest workers are women; and where the decision makers are mostly women. 99% of our crew clients from around the world do not resemble any of the men here lecturing the audience at the auditorium.
Its going to be a weird week here at CSM.
Photo Credit: CMS 2013 - Jim Walker