The dynamic Barbara Amerio is a leader in more ways than one – Besides being among the 2% of women leaders in International Yachting, she’s also a Pioneer in Nautical Sustainability and an Advocate of Gender Equality. As the CEO and Sustainability Director of the Permare Group – Amer Yachts, she is leading the global race in building cutting-edge, eco-friendly Superyachts.

Speaking of Italian supremacy in the naval world, she tells us, “I represent my country and all that it stands for – beauty, design, and innovation. 46% of superyacht world production comes from Italy. We provide the best quality, use the best materials, and offer the best handmade work. The economic model we follow at Amer is also gentle, respectful, and inclusive.”

55-year-old Barbara lives with her family in Sanremo, Italy. In 1973, her father Fernando Amerio founded the Permare Group, and in 1990, they launched Amer Yachts, which has become an award-winning global player in the sailing industry. Today the company is run by the second generation of Amerios, i.e. Barbara and her brother Rodolfo, while the third generation is being groomed.

On her part, Barbara completed her linguistic studies and obtained an international brokerage license before joining the family firm more than 30 years ago. “Working in a family business where the totality was made of men was not simple. But I managed to gain a great reputation in my field thanks to hard work and upskilling my professional skills and competencies.”

Today, she has taken Amer across the globe. Till date, they have made close to 90 yachts for clients as far as the United States, Middle East, Arab countries, and the Far East. The business strategy that makes them stand out is, “Good product quality, strong relationships with a solid supply chain, and empathy and inclusivity within the company.”

Barbara is passionate about gender equality at work and being a role model for future generations. She was the first woman to become President of the Italian superyacht sector (Ucina, now known as Confindustria Nautica), the first woman to become President of Imperia, and among the first women to obtain a brokerage license in Italy.

Currently, she’s busy breaking the glass ceiling as a Sustainability Leader in the maritime sector. The UN’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development has encouraged her towards several endeavours for sea preservation. In 2018, she became the Italian ambassador for ‘Blue Mind’, a book dedicated to the science of water. And recently, she joined a campaign that advised people to cruise at a speed under 15 knots for the first three miles to protect coastal areas.

With an ability to plan for the future with creativity and commitment, Barbara has won many awards for the company and herself. In the last year itself (2022), some of their prestigious wins included:

  • Fonti Award in the Innovation & Leadership category.
  • ‘Shipyard of the Year’ award at World Yachts Trophies 2022 by Yachts France Magazine in Cannes.
  • Design Innovation Award at the 62nd edition of the Genoa Boat Show.
  • Special Mention at the METSTRADE for the Boat Builders Award.
  • International award during the fifth Yachting Seminar Rinautic at the Monaco Yacht Club by Rina.

Yet strangely, Barbara says she has no appetite for business: “I’m a mother, wife, and CEO in that order. I’m glad for the chance to work with my family, it makes business very simple. I truly believe that if you are passionate, skilled and open-minded, new opportunities will knock by themselves.”

Inspired by the yachting world, Barbara loves to spend time at sea with her young daughter. “Contrary to the luxury sector I work in, I like a simple life – working, spending time with my family and friends, cooking, reading, and staying in touch with nature. I also like history, different cultures and traditions, and travelling and sharing experiences.”

Two of her biggest strengths are empathy and teambuilding, both of which helped her tide over the pandemic. “The pandemic taught us that life is important, money is crucial, but health is priceless. The world has changed after Covid, it has become more spiritual for certain sensitive people.”

An inspiring figure for women and youth, Barbara is proud of investing resources in training, planning annual programmes, and collaborating with schools, colleges and associations, to educate students. Leaving a thought for all the seafarers out there, she says, “Keep your word, respect the sea and nature, and respect yourself. As my mentor would say - I wish you water.”

Spread the love