Maiden is a Global Ambassador for the Empowerment of Girls through Education
Maiden inspired a generation of women. Skippered by Tracy Edwards MBE, she led the first all-female crew to compete in the notoriously difficult Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989/90. The vision, values and courage of one man, HM King Hussein I of Jordan who brought in their sponsor, made the incredible story of Maiden possible.
Despite fierce opposition and sexism, Tracy and her team won two of the toughest legs on the course and came second overall. It was a landmark moment for the sailing world and opened the door for competitive female sailing.
Tracy’s exploits earned her an MBE as well as becoming the first woman to receive the ‘Yachtsman of the Year’ trophy but was forced to sell Maiden at the end of the race.
Fast forward to 2014 when Tracy learned that Maiden had been abandoned and was rotting in the Seychelles. She knew that she had to save this unique piece of maritime history and set about raising funds to buy her and bring her back to the UK. In April 2017 Maiden was shipped to Southampton where she underwent an extensive restoration and The Maiden Factor was born.
Maiden’s new mission became raising awareness of the 130 million girls worldwide who are currently not able to access an education by interacting with, fundraising for and supporting community programmes worldwide which enable girls into education and support them to remain there through their teenage years.
Maiden began her unique three-year world tour in November 2018, sailing with this world changing purpose. The main focus for the first year was to listen, research, learn and grow our audiences and plan where and how Maiden would have the greatest impact on improving the rights of girls to an education around the world and identify opportunities for girls in STEM subjects.
During this time, we worked with six charities who work globally within a particular area that break down the barriers that prevent girls from accessing an education and provide the solutions.
We learned that Maiden has the power to inspire and empower girls (and boys!); when Maiden arrived in port, she was already a star with her own fan club, not just with sailors and/or girls. Maiden has the ability to reach across genders, colour, creed, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic backgrounds and generations.
The ‘Maiden’ story is relevant and relatable to everyone, again not just sailors, but to every human being who strives to reach their full potential; to succeed against the odds. Maiden is proof that with self-belief, grit, determination, relentlessness, anyone from anywhere can change the world.
After 18 months, 22,000 nautical miles and 22 destinations in 13 countries, engaging with girls, schools and communities and raising funds for girls’ educational programmes all over the globe Maiden was forced to a halt due to the pandemic. During our time on the world tour we took hundreds of people of sailing, hosted many events at stopovers including thousands of girls and young people visiting the boat and crew, screenings of the Maiden film, talks at schools and working with communities to inspire girls.
As we get Maiden ready to begin the new world tour, we are developing partnerships with a number or organisations actively promoting women and girls’ recruitment into industries such as Maritime, Coding, Computing, Business, Banking, Scientific Research, Marine Biology and Climate Activism.
Maiden will sail 90,000 nm over the next three years visiting upwards of 60 destinations in over 40 countries.
1. Maiden inspires women and girls all over the world
“If girls can see it, they can be it.”
Maiden’s massive diverse global reach is used to change and amplify the narrative around what girls can achieve. The Maiden Factor aims to increase its significant impact by reaching millions of girls, their families and communities in countries around the world in order to reshape perceptions of female education, roles and aspirations. Key issues such as gender parity, the empowerment of women, closing the gender pay gap, supporting and enabling women to play key roles in business, climate change, gender equality, eco-feminism and STEM subjects. Everybody has a responsibility for making a positive difference for the future.
2. Maiden raises funds for girls’ educational programmes all over the world
Our fundraising activities to date have included: Yacht Club open days and fundraisers with Tracy Edwards and/or the Maiden skipper and crew; presentations and talks to members and guests, at the same time raising the awareness of girls in both developing countries and those closer to home that need help and support to reach their full potential.
Donations are received from visits and tours on Maiden and meeting the skipper and crew at Yacht Clubs and public dock areas. Indoor and outdoor screenings of the Maiden documentary and many individuals of all ages, schools, youth groups, non-host yacht clubs, women’s groups and sailing clubs around the world have initiated fund raising activities to support Maiden’s mission. Our fundraisers are supported by our ‘Maiden Voices’.
3. Maiden shows, by example, what girls can achieve if they embrace STEM subjects
Technology will shape all our futures and the job market with an ever growing global skills shortage in the STEM sector. With women being woefully underrepresented this sector, STEM is a great opportunity for girls and can prepare them for jobs that are already available, and the jobs being created every day.
Making a stand and building an advantage by putting gender equality and diversity at the heart of any business or organisation is a sound investment. A diverse workforce creates diverse solutions and with most STEM fields based on teamwork a range of perspectives is critical to success.
Nearly 85% of large global enterprises believe that workforce diversity is critical in driving innovation and that teams with equal numbers of women and men generate on average 41% more revenue for their employer. (source:Forbes)
Girls need to be made aware of the opportunities and the pathways available to jobs and they also need role models; to see women like them in STEM and other careers.
Maiden raises funds for our charitable arm The Maiden Factor Foundation;
1. A UK Registered Charity
2. Registered with the Charities Aid Foundation US Donor Fund in the UK (providing tax relief for US Donors)
3. A 501 (c) (3) registered in New York