SAIC urges support for women’s working group

SAIC study trip Nearly three quarters (73%) of respondents to a SAIC survey said they would join a Women in UK Aquaculture group. Credit: SAIC

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) is asking the industry to support development of a new working group which aims to encourage more women into aquaculture, and support those already working in the sector.

In a recent survey conducted by SAIC nearly three quarters (73%) of respondents said they would join a Women in UK Aquaculture group if set up. Nearly nine in 10 respondents said that it should provide networking support to others already working, or considering a career, in UK aquaculture. Two thirds of respondents agreed that it should raise awareness of women working in UK aquaculture through, for example, social media and case studies.

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, said: “As well as there being women leaders at the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation and trout company Dawnfresh, there are increasing numbers of brilliant and talented younger women working in aquaculture. But we need to showcase and highlight their progress in scientific, technical and academic roles, for the encouragement of others.”

Mentoring opportunities

Ms Jones stated that over half of survey respondents are willing to contribute to a working group, with over 40% willing to offer mentoring to another woman, and another 40% happy to provide advice or guidance to others in the group.

“It’s because of this level of support that we are now in the 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,” she said. “While the situation won’t change overnight, we are hopeful that in five or 10 years’ time this initiative will have had a real and positive impact.”

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