Call for work­ing group to sup­port women in aqua­cul­ture

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

THE Scot­tish Aqua­cul­ture In­no­va­tion Cen­tre (SAIC) has called for in­dus­try sup­port for a work­ing group to en­cour­age more women to join the aqua­cul­ture sec­tor.

A re­cent sur­vey con­ducted by SAIC found over­whelm­ing sup­port for such a group, with nearly three quar­ters (73 per cent) of re­spon­dents say­ing they would join it if set up.

When asked what the pur­pose of the group should be, nearly nine out of 10 re­spon­dents said that it should pro­vide net­work­ing sup­port to oth­ers al­ready work­ing, or con­sid­er­ing a ca­reer, in UK aqua­cul­ture.

Two thirds agreed that it should raise aware­ness of women work­ing in UK aqua­cul­ture through, for ex­am­ple, so­cial me­dia and case stud­ies.

SAIC’s sur­vey, launched in May this year, re­ceived 173 re­sponses in to­tal, 91 per cent from women and nine per cent from men.

The sur­vey at­tracted in­ter­est across the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try, with 67 per cent of re­spon­dents work­ing in the pri­vate sec­tor, 29 per cent in re­search or academia, and five per cent in the pub­lic sec­tor.

Some 88 per cent of re­sponses were from peo­ple based in Scot­land, and 60 per cent were aged un­der 40, with 20 per cent self-declar­ing as stu­dents or re­cent grad­u­ates (within the last eight years) so prob­a­bly un­der 30.

The SAIC sur­vey fol­lows of for Sec­tor port, High­lands En­ter­prise of In­dus­try Group. This the the the com­mis­sioned Aqua­cul­ture showed Skills in Aqua­cul­ture the Lead­er­ship Scot­land and on pub­li­ca­tion Re­view be­half Is­lands that re- by aqua­cul­ture sub­jects such chem­istry, fur­ther train­ing as ed­u­ca­tion bi­ol­ogy con­tinue at and school, re­lated in and to and be dom­i­nated en­rol­ments pro­duc­tion Ninety per by and on cent males. fish fisher- of ies cour­ses were fur­ther men, in 2015/16 and ed­u­ca­tion the vast start­ing ma­jor­ity an aqua­cul­ture of peo­ple Mod­ern ship were Ap­pren­tice- male. er SAIC Jones CEO said Heath- it was sta­tis­tics like these that pro­moted SAIC to con­duct its sur­vey, which has ‘clearly demon­strated strong un-met for cross-sec­tor for aqua­cul­ture’. be­ing at Pro­duc­ers’ isa­tion com­pany ‘As the cross-in­dus­try, women well women Scot­tish and de­mand Dawn­fresh, as trout Or­gan- in there sup­port lead­ers UK Salmon there num­bers and women ua­cul­ture,’ tal­ented are work­ing of in­creas­ing said bril­liant younger Jones. in aqshow­case their ‘But progress we need and high­light in to sci­en­tific, aca­demic tech­ni­cal roles, for and the oth­ers. en­cour­age­ment of ‘Over half of our sur­vey re­spon­dents are will­ing to con­trib­ute to a Women in UK Aqua­cul­ture Group, with over 40 per cent will­ing to of­fer men­tor­ing to an­other woman, and an­other 40 per cent happy to pro­vide ad­vice or guid­ance to oth­ers in the level we ‘It’s are group. of be­cause now sup­port in of the that this process of bring­ing in­ter­ested par­ties to­gether to get a group up and run­ning, with a view to the in­dus­try tak­ing it on to drive it for­ward.’ Tracy Bryant-Shaw, HR direc­tor at Scot­tish Sea Farms, said:‘At­tract­ing more women into our com­pany is some­thing we’ve been work­ing hard on in re­cent years, with great re­sults. ‘Al­ready this year, two of our fe­male em­ploy­ees have been named Fin­fish Farm Man­ager of the Year and Ris­ing Star, ac­co­lades we hope will in­spire oth­ers to con­sider a ca­reer with us. ‘So we are fully sup­port­ive of this new ini­tia­tive to en­cour­age, sup­port and de­velop women at sec­tor level.’

Above: Women in aqua­cul­ture - on SAIC’s stand at Aviemore

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