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Emma Johnson

Business Development Director

How did you find out about and what made you choose the maritime sector?

I have always been interested in the maritime sector (and the sea), but when I was younger I didn’t realise the full extent of the maritime industry and all the opportunities it has to offer. Once I finished my Marine Biology degree, I went to work for Chelsea Technologies, a marine sensor technology company, and I haven’t looked back since! I didn’t necessarily choose the maritime sector specifically but now I am here to stay – it is one of the friendliest and hardworking industries! 

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Who has been the most important person to you in your maritime career so far?

There are too many people to name here – all my managers and colleagues over the years. However, one of the most important people in my career has to be my colleague from Chelsea Technologies, Matt Kenney. He taught me so much about the maritime sector, helped me believe in myself and I thoroughly enjoyed working with him – he is a font of Maritime knowledge.

Did you study for any maritime-related qualifications and, if so, what and where?

I studied BSc Marine Biology and MSc Applied Aquatic Biology at the University of Portsmouth.

What have you found most challenging in your maritime career so far, and how did you address it?

One of the hardest things for me at the beginning of my career was the lack of diversity (or at least my perception of it!) in the maritime sector. As a young female coming into the sector I often found I was second guessing myself or feeling that I didn’t deserve to be in a meeting full of older men and that my knowledge and experiences were somehow less important. No one ever made me feel this way, it was all in my head!


I had a lot of support and encouragement from colleagues and friends and I now realise that I have worked hard to get to where I am in my career and I absolutely deserve to be here! There are so many fantastic diverse role models in the Maritime industry and I am pleased the sector is working hard to become diverse and inclusive.

The challenge for me was overcoming my own self-doubt. Believe in yourself and you will succeed!

What does a typical day at work look like?

That really depends – I get to travel a lot with my job and visit some amazing places (Shanghai, Singapore, America etc.). When I am not travelling around the world I am arranging meetings with our member companies and working with them to promote the maritime sector in the UK.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Scuba diving, boating, swimming, walking (preferably at the beach!). The ocean is my happy place!