Linda Behnken of Sitka – Mom, fisherman, NPFMC, IPHC, ALFA …

 

Feedback on gender equality in the seafood industry yielded insights on how women’s roles are perceived by women and men around the world.  A survey by the international non-profit Women in the Seafood  Industry gathered 700 responses, 30 percent from men.

“The questions centered around what is in your company the position of women and what is your opinion of the situation of women in this industry. Are there areas where things could be improved or maybe there is no need for any improvement.”

Marie Catherine Monfort is WSI president and co-founder based in Paris. The group aims to promote greater inclusiveness and visibility for women in the industry.

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The survey results showed differing perceptions depending on gender.

“The majority of men don’t feel that there is gender inequality in this industry. The majority of women said there is gender inequality.”  

The survey asked questions on perceived barriers for women. A main problem expressed in most regions was a range of discriminations; that view was not shared by men.

“A good number of them think the problem is the lack of women in the industry. Which is good, because we want to promote more women to enter into the industry.”

The differing perceptions, Montfort says, is one of the most important findings.

 “One of the results to the survey was that men do not seem to take the full scope of the situation and we will have to tell them what needs to be changed. We need them on board as well.”

The top industry need expressed by women and some men is improving the work/life balance.

“We know that in some countries, this is better organized than in others, but really the work/family balance is an important point.”

Results of the gender survey are being compiled into a report.

Meanwhile, WSI has launched a worldwide video contest to highlight the lives of women in any segment of the seafood industry.  Winners will receive cash prizes and their videos will be showcased at industry events around the world.  Deadline is August 31.

Table 1. Most impactful initiatives to gender equality

Scandinavia Other countries in Europe North America South America Asia Africa Oceania

(Pacific)

Positive hiring policy 1     3 2 2  
Network of women     3       3
Work-family balance 2 1 1 1 3 1  
Improving work conditions   3       3 2
Equal salary 3     3      
Gender awareness programme   2 2 2 1 2 1

Source: WSI Survey “Gender on the agenda of the seafood industry

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