“Female sensitivity and young talent have a lot to contribute to the visibility of industrial sectors “: Ione Astondoa
The recreational boat building sector is one of those industrial niches whose reality has not yet been seen in Spain and Europe. The visibility of the companies that make up the marine industry, their economic impact, and the employment they generate and their contribution to the Spain brand has historically been managed very timidly.
In an male sector, there are companies that are breaking with this situation, on the one hand, because social evolution imposes it, the time of generational change came to family businesses in the sector a few years ago and is being consolidated. On the other hand, “the profile of consumers is changing, younger and younger users are increasingly looking at recreational boating and to identify with their sensitivity, their values and their needs is necessary to be in the same vital plane and experience,” explains Ione Astondoa, of ASTONDOA, the only Spanish shipyard of luxury yachts with over 100 years of history in whose management already involves the fourth generation of the original family owner.
ASTONDOA’s management has been made up of men for three generations, but it has been in the fourth generation when female talent has burst in through Ione Astondoa -daughter of the current CEO, Jesús Astondoa-, becoming the first female manager in the Shipyard. She, at 27 years old, is involved in marketing and communication of the Shipyard as well as in costs management and HR.
Another woman of the ASTONDOA family, Laura García Astondoa, has also been participating in projects developed in the area of the Shipyard’s image. Also very young and still completing her training, Laura is expected to become more involved, upon completion of her studies, in the Shipyard where her knowledge and skills are already present.
ASTONDOA began a new chapter in its history in 2016, from the moment it reached its centenary, and when the company’s crew began to open up to feminization and young talent. Crew members with a different profile already entered the “command bridge of its yachts”, among them Ione Astondoa, in 2019, who began to imprint a 360º turn in the company’s marketing and communication strategy. “A brand that reflects the Spanish know-how of the luxury yachting industry needed to adapt to digital marketing to new ways of communicating that from the experiential level seek to awaken emotions that society, and especially women, are eager for especially in this context marked by the pandemic,” she says.
Ione Astondoa, because of her youth, belonging to the millennial generation, and because she is a woman, had to break down barriers when she arrived at the family company, to make an effort to be heard and to have her proposals taken into account, but with time and, above all, analyzing the results of her ideas in practice, her voice now has the role that corresponds to her in the management team.
Today, in the Shipyard, the design and engineering team is also made up of young professionals with a vision of the most avant-garde social environment, where luxury has to coexist with digitalization and sustainability. And in this moment, there is no doubt that the female contribution and vision is essential.