Breaking Barriers: Lindsey Jessop's Leadership Journey from Maritime Chief Officer to MD at John Tracey Specialist Welding

In today’s dynamic business landscape, effective leadership is essential for success. Meet Lindsey Jessop, the Managing Director of Specialist Welding (JTSW), whose career path whilst far from conventional, successfully led her from a successful career as a Chief Officer in the maritime industry, to the role of MD at JTSW – and completing a Masters in Sustainability and Environmental Studies whilst doing so! Join us as we delve into Lindsey’s journey, the obstacles she faced as a woman in male-dominated industries, and the invaluable advice she offers to future professionals. 

Whilst the maritime industry has presented Lindsey with numerous opportunities, it has also thrown a number of hurdles her way, with many of her past colleagues and managers steering her towards stereotypical roles, rather than those that suited her strengths. Lindsey, testament to her tenacity, remained undeterred, and instead honed her skills and climbed the ranks, project managed the outfitting of superyachts and lead a voyage to the Arctic North as Chief Officer. When asked what was driving this ambition Lindsey said, “I believed in my ability to manage vessel operations, applying leadership skills necessary for any managerial position, so I kept going until I reached that milestone.” Lindsey decided to set her sights on new challenges beyond the sea, albeit very adjacent to it. Her resilience and determination serve as a testament to the power of the perseverance required to be successful. 

This pivot in her career led her to Malin Group, marine specialists, and more specifically their specialist welding unit, JTSW. She quickly identified an opportunity to leverage her diverse skill set, including project management skills, problem-solving, and multitasking abilities, all while studying for her master’s degree. Embracing continuous growth, Lindsey shares, “I don’t like to settle, I enjoy seeking opportunities for personal and professional development and stepping out of my comfort zone—this is where true growth happens.” 

At the helm of John Tracey Specialist Welding, Lindsey has steered the organisation towards new horizons of success, fostering a culture of collaboration, empowerment, and continuous improvement. Lindsey’s team have since worked on increasingly challenging projects with tier one clients and have grown to a team of almost 40. Drawing upon her experience as a First Officer, she understands the importance of teamwork, communication, and adaptability in navigating complex challenges and seizing opportunities for growth.  

Lindsey and her team have worked on countless projects, but there is definitely one that stands out. She notes, “the Aluminium Wingsail project, The Fastrig for Smart Green Shipping was quite an experience. FastRig is an innovative, retractable, rigid wing sail, designed to be easily retrofitted to existing commercial vessels with available deck space. The FastRig provides propulsive thrust from wind, with the purpose of reducing fuel consumption, GHG emissions. It brought both maritime and sustainability together and I really feel has the potential to deliver lasting change. This prototype could change the future of how vessels will sail in a greener way for years to come”. This particular project was a truly cross functional effort with three of Malin’s business units, working together from design stage, to build and final transportation. One area where Lindsey has truly excelled is in her people skills and her ability to foster strong relationships and drive her teams forward. She firmly believes that a good leader knows their strengths and identifies individuals to complement their weaknesses. “A leader’s strength lies in their ability to pull people together and not be afraid to hire people who have stronger skill sets,” she emphasises. 

As the Managing Director of JTSW, Lindsey’s key role is to continue growing the business in a profitable manner. This involves building relationships with key clients in line with the business strategy and overseeing the successful execution of projects across various sectors including nuclear, defence, construction and marine. She is passionate about coaching and developing her team, enabling them to achieve both their personal and professional goals while building a positive team culture. Driven by a strong work ethic and a focus on finding solutions, Lindsey fosters an environment of healthy debate while promoting a growth mindset among her team. Lindsey believes key qualities in a leader are listening, being approachable, inspiring, and empowering her team to reach their potential. Leading from the front is so important – “you should never ask people to do something you would not do yourself.” Her commitment to excellence, sustainability, and empowering others serves as a powerful reminder that true leadership transcends titles and positions.  

To aspiring professionals, of any gender, Lindsey offers invaluable advice. She emphasises the importance of finding a champion who has your corner, remaining steadfast in pursuing passions, challenging stereotypes, and seizing opportunities for growth. 

Clearly Lindsey and the wider JTSW value candidates who possess key attributes such as problem-solving skills, a passion for challenges, and a readiness to excel in demanding environments. With several vacancies currently available, if you believe you align with our values and would thrive in our team, we encourage you to send your CV and a brief description of what you are seeking to