AE2019 welcomes Women in Aquaculture event

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By Milthon Lujan

A seminar looking at ways to ensure greater gender diversity at all levels of the aquaculture sector is scheduled to take place in Berlin on 9 October, as part of this year’s Aquaculture Europe (AE2019) conference.

Jointly organised by the European Aquaculture Society (EAS) and The Fish Site, the Women in Aquaculture seminar will offer first hand insights into how women can overcome perceived genderrelated obstacles and build thriving careers right across the aquaculture sector.

“Many promising young researchers and many of the top aquaculture executives from Europe and beyond will be in Berlin for the annual EAS conference and this special session aims to help companies engage with proactive strategies for building diverse workplaces,” explains Alistair Lane, Executive Director of EAS.

The one-hour event will be co-chaired by Nofima’s Synnøve Helland, who is a board member of EATIP and leader of the Gender Panel of EURASTIP, and Rob Fletcher, senior editor at The Fish Site – which has been responsible for a number of women in aquaculture initiatives over the course of the last year.

“The Fish Site ran a series of articles on women in aquaculture during 2018 – both to tell the stories of women’s achievements in the sector, and to help attract talented people. The series has had nearly 40,000 visitors, with readers eager to find out why these women chose aquaculture, how their careers have progressed and how their hard-won insights can help others succeed. We hope this seminar will help to build on this success,” explains Rob.

“More recently we ran a seminar at Aquaculture UK, in which senior executives outlined why diversity was beneficial in all businesses but was chronically lacking in too many aquaculture companies, especially the executive level. One of the key themes to emerge at the event was the need to establish some form of structured pathway to address this situation. This is a theme we hope to explore in Berlin,” he adds.

The event will include a panel discussion featuring prominent figures from academia and the aquaculture industry, who will discuss key issues related to the benefits of diversity in the workforce and ways to ensure that aquaculture organisations pursue recruitment policies that allow talented people, regardless of gender, to succeed.

“It is vital for the further success of the industry that it can compete successfully for the best talents. This session is a unique possibility for managers from industry and academia to learn what measures are working, so that others can learn how to recruit the competent women as well as men,” says Synnøve.

The seminar will also include a Q&A and an insight into an innovative mentoring programme which has been established to help fast-track ambitious and talented women to the top of the sector.

More details of the event will be released in the coming months.

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