Industry body Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA) will begin a series of Scottish Government-supported diversity initiatives with the launch of a new mentoring programme this month.
The first-of-its-kind scheme will match some of the most influential leaders in aquaculture with aspiring women in the sector looking to develop their careers and skills.
Delivered in partnership with specialist training company Skillfluence, the programme is set to include one-to-one sessions over several months and aims to develop skills such as creating a network, making career decisions, cultivating leadership styles, and building confidence.
WiSA is currently looking for senior aquaculture professionals to act as mentors, as well as women seeking to enhance their aquaculture careers to take on the role of mentee.
Many of Scotland’s major producers – including Grieg Seafood, Cooke Aquaculture, the Scottish Salmon Company, Mowi, Loch Duart and Scottish Sea Farms – have pledged support for WiSA, which has received £30,000 in industry sponsorship.
Co-chair Charlotte Maddocks said: “We are looking for female mentees, as well as female and male mentors, who want to make a difference by taking part in the programme, helping us encourage and nurture aquaculture’s next generation of female leaders. Being a mentor can be incredibly rewarding, contributing to professional development and helping to shape the industry’s future.”
Heather Jones, chief executive of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre, added: “Supporting women in playing a more prominent role in aquaculture is a vital step in helping the industry to grow. The mentoring programme is the first of many initiatives that will help us to build capacity, confidence and capability amongst women working in Scottish aquaculture."