Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!
One of Malia White's biggest challenges so far as the first female bosun in Below Deck history has been getting her deck crew to respect her authority. Luckily, Captain Sandy Yawn, who is a trailblazer in the yachting industry in her own right, has Malia's back.
When Captain Sandy heard that Malia had been called "sweetie" in the June 15 episode of Below Deck Mediterranean, she immediately called a meeting with the entire deck crew. "I know it's hard when you have a woman as your [senior], but there's still protocol. Malia's not your friend. No sweetheart, no sweetie, no dear. You wouldn't call a guy sweetheart or anything like that, right? I want it to stay professional," Captain Sandy told the deckhands. "If you don't like it, get off. Leave."
Captain Sandy shared a similar sentiment when asked what she would do if someone in her crew called her "sweetie" during her appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen: @ Home on June 15 (clip above). "Oh my gosh. I'd sit them down, have a conversation, and say we need to lose that vocabulary, like in change your words. How about 'captain' or my name," she said. "I mean, who does that? I was shocked when I watched it."
Malia told The Daily Dish in an interview earlier this season that she didn't appreciate being called "sweetie" or "sweetheart" by her deck team. "Yeah, it bothered me. It definitely gets under my skin," she said. "You definitely wouldn’t do that if a guy was your boss. To me, it shows like he lacks respect."
The bosun admitted that there "was definitely a learning curve" for some of the deckhands in working under a female bosun. However, having someone like Captain Sandy on board to look up to helped Malia find her own voice as a leader. "I think what I like about Captain Sandy and her leadership style and kind of what she said to me is you just have to demand the level of respect that you want and just put your foot down sometimes. Like, we’re not there to be their friend. We’re not gonna be best friends all the time with every crew. You've got to know when to put your foot down and stand up for yourself, which is great advice," Malia said. "Otherwise, you’re not gonna be happy in your workplace."
Captain Sandy said on WWHL: @ Home that she has had her own experience with gender bias in the yachting industry and has not been "hired for a job because I was a woman" in the past. "I have to say most of the people in the industry are very supportive, but I would get the look from the guys on the dock. Like, 'Is she gonna crash the boat? Here comes a woman driving a boat,'" she recalled. "I ignore it, and I just do my job. I stay focused."
Captain Sandy also told The Daily Dish during an interview earlier this season that she couldn't be more thrilled to have the first female bosun in Below Deck history be a part of her crew. "It feels iconic. I feel very fortunate and lucky that I was the one to have the female bosun since I’m a female captain," she said. "So for me, it’s epic."
Malia said that she understands the gravity of taking on this leadership role this season of Below Deck Med. "I’m very honored to be the first female bosun. I think it’s definitely something that people are ready to see, that a female can be in that position and women can run the ship just like the men can run the ship. So I’m very excited to be in this position and be the first one," she told The Daily Dish. "Hopefully, it inspires women in the industry or people who want to get into the industry, just like Captain Sandy has."
Want more Below Deck Med? New episodes air every Monday at 9/8c or catch up on the entire series through the Bravo app.
See what's in store for Captain Sandy, Malia, and the rest of The Wellington crew in the below preview.
The Daily Dish is your source for all things Bravo, from behind-the-scenes scoop to breaking news, exclusive interviews, photos, original videos, and, oh, so much more. Subscribe to The Daily Dish podcast, join our Facebook group, and follow us on Instagram for the latest news hot off the presses. Sign up to become a Bravo Insider and be the first to get exclusive extras.