WOMEN AT THE WATER-FRONT
It’s a fact that more than half of the people employed by the global seafood industry are women. Despite their sheer number – many tens of millions – women’s crucial contribution to the sector continues to go largely unacknowledged, and as a result, seafood production is still widely misperceived as a male domain.
A fundamental part of the problem is that the data on female workers is very limited: gender disaggregated statistics for the seafood sector hardly exists and there’s no global records detailing how many women are employed in managerial, policymaking or scientific roles.
IPNLF works with many women who occupy prominent roles throughout the value chain in our efforts to demonstrate and develop the value of one-by-one tuna fisheries. We therefore see it is of vital importance to recognise and celebrate the qualities and skillsets women can bring to the global seafood industry.
However, it’s clear to us that the seafood industry could be doing more, and doing it much more quickly than at present. That’s why we chose to make this short film – with the invaluable help of some of the women in the tuna pole-and-line and handline sector – to offer two steps that we feel will sensitise current business leaders and policymakers to the value women can bring:
Step 1: Is to quantify the amazing role women are already playing in this industry and give them a voice. Let’s establish a reporting system that provides clear international data – available to all – on where exactly women are working in seafood and where they are contributing to the supply chain.
Step 2: Is to get women into the positions that they deserve. Let’s all look at our own workplaces and consider whether there are people there that are being underutilised. Let’s also look at the balance of our teams and whether everyone is in the right role.
Our overriding hope is that you concur with the messages within ‘Women at the Water-Front’ and that you show your endorsement by sharing it with friends, colleagues and even your boss. As stated in the film, it’s not just about hiring women because they are women; it’s about having workplaces that encourage diversity in thought and experience to fuel innovation and cooperation.
‘Women at the Water-Front’ was first aired at the SeaWeb Seafood Summit – the world’s premier conference on seafood sustainability, being held in Malta, on the 2nd February 2016, where it opened the conference session ‘A New Agender: Sex and the Seafood Sector’s Production, Profits and Promotion’. This seminar used the research, experience and voices of women to challenge the audience to think about the role of women in the seafood industry. It also initiated discussions on how to recognise and elevate the role of women and highlight gender equity as a key part of the social pillar of sustainability.
Check out the video below and visit our video library for more.