People behind the Flag - Charlotte Gregory

Published: 18/05/2022

Today (May 18) marks the inaugural International Day of Women in Maritime. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) invites its member states, and anyone involved in the maritime endeavour, to use this day, each year, to celebrate the many faces of women in maritime, promote career opportunities and options, and help raise the profile of women across the industry.

From counter-pollution to Large Yacht Services, finance and HR to the UK Ship Register, we have many talented, hardworking women here at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

This International Day for Women in Maritime, we’re taking the opportunity to shine a light on one of the women behind the scenes at the UK Ship Register – Charlotte Gregory, Data and Reporting Analyst at the Registry for Shipping and Seamen (RSS).


Before Charlotte joined the MCA, she worked as a Management Information Analyst at a Solicitor’s firm. Before that, she was a Project Manager at a furniture manufacturing company.

Data analysis, however, was not where her path began. She completed a Batchelors and a master’s degree in English Literature, then completed a post-compulsory PGCE.

Charlotte taught English at a college in Llanelli for around a year after qualifying but realised that it was not for her. It was during the time of being a project manager that she truly discovered the power that data provides to drive revolutionary change for businesses.

It then became a passion of hers to ensure that every business she worked for had all the tools at their fingertips to make considered, informed, and well researched data driven decisions.

What are the core responsibilities/duties of your role?

I am responsible for all reporting used and issued by the Registry of Shipping and Seaman (RSS) on behalf of the MCA. I complete all business as usual reporting, such as daily telephony performance summaries and vessel registration queries from various branches of Government, but also perform certain Business Analysis tasks and make recommendations for business process changes and improvements. I am also involved with any new developments in relation to system changes and improvements (such as the implementation of Wallboards and improvements to UKSR and Seafarers Documentation System), and action all ad-hoc requests for data on a wide variety of subjects from internal and external stakeholders.

What do you enjoy about working for the MCA?

The strength of the MCA, I believe, comes from the truly amazing people that it has chosen to employ. I have interacted with many people during my time at the MCA, from Administrative Officer right through to CEO, and everyone that I have encountered has always been incredibly helpful, polite, professional, and kind. I also enjoy how varied and interesting my role is. No two days are ever the same, and I am always learning new things. It also gives me the opportunity to challenge myself on a regular basis, which keeps me interested and driven.

What has been your proudest moment/biggest achievement at the MCA?

I would say that the biggest thing I have achieved since working at the MCA is the establishment of a new set of regular reporting tools that are used by the management team to actively monitor and measure the performance of the business. The establishment of these tools has allowed us, as a management team, to better plan and forecast for the future and keep track of exactly where we are at all times.

Would you say you fit the ‘stereotypical’ image of a Data and Reporting Analyst? And why?

I should begin answering this question by first stating what I believe is a “stereotypical image” of a data analyst is. Firstly, Data Science is an overwhelmingly male dominated sphere. Women in Data (UK) currently state that male analysts and scientists outnumber females in the same profession 4 to 1.

The Harnham Data & Analytics Diversity Report (2019) also found that just 21% of Data and Analytics professionals in Europe were women. This lack of gender diversity in my profession is something that is deeply unsettling to me. Not only because I believe that the imbalance creates a potentially intimidating environment for the next generation of female data scientists to enter, but also because I believe that organisations throughout the globe are missing the opportunity to facilitate and share different viewpoints, ideas, and insights which in turn enables the opportunity for teams to have a more creative and well-rounded approach towards problem solving in the workplace.

In terms of the gender stereotypes that are perpetuated in Western Cultures of the Data Analyst, therefore, I would not say that I ‘fit the bill’. In terms of personality, Data Analysts are often perceived as introverted and oftentimes, a little socially awkward (a stereotype which I disagree with profusely!) I certainly do not fulfil this stereotype either, as I thoroughly enjoy interacting with colleagues at all levels and will do anything I can to resolve all issues that I am presented with by any of my peers. Fighting the whole stigma of the term ‘stereotype’ is something that I feel very passionate about, and I will continue to do this by progressing my career in an incredibly male dominated profession.

How does it make you feel, being a woman in maritime?

The MCA is an integral part of the UK’s infrastructure. I feel incredibly proud to be a part of an organisation/sector whose work is so far-reaching, diverse, and worthwhile. Right from the Coastguard, to RSS, Seafarer Training and Certification and UKSR, the work that every single one of these teams do is amazing, and I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by such a brilliant team.

Who inspires you and why? Do you have a particular role model?

Throughout my life, I have been inspired by a wide spectrum of people. I would say, however, that the person who has inspired me the most to become the person I am today is Dorothy Parker. She overcame a significant amount of adversity to become one of the wittiest, most outspoken, most satiric poet and essayist of the 20th Century New York literary scene. Her strength, persistence and success encouraged me to believe, from a very young age, that as long as you have the strength, will and determination to succeed, anything is possible.

What advice would you give the next generation of women/girls looking to get into the maritime industry?

The maritime industry is an incredibly interesting, rewarding, and diverse sector to work in. Unlike other organisations that I have worked for, there are a lot of powerful female role models in senior positions, which really illustrates to me the opportunities that are in the MCA for a woman to excel in her career. I have absolutely no doubt that the MCA will help me to thrive in my career and provide me with the guidance and support required to become the best that I can be in my profession.

My advice to the next generation of women looking to get into the maritime industry would therefore be to apply for a role at the MCA, and never give up. Resilience and persistence is key; as long as you want it enough, you can make it happen.

Charlotte Gregory RSS team