Women in Ireland’s Seafood Industry Gather to Discuss the Establishment of Professional Networking Forum

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency hosted a networking event in the Radisson Hotel, Dublin Airport today (28th August) aimed at women working in Ireland’s €1 billion Seafood Industry to ascertain if a professional networking forum will support and drive greater female participation in the sector.

Jim O’Toole, BIM’s CEO welcomed attendees from around the coast to the event; ‘This is an important event that not only celebrates the many dedicated and talented women in Ireland’s seafood industry but enables us to discuss how women in this sector can, as a professional forum, provide support, share information and enhance their capacity to contribute to the industry’s future’

Facilitated by the Australian Women’s Industry Network Seafood Community (WINSC) established in December 2016 by female seafood professionals to promote the role of women in the seafood industry; President Leonie Noble and Directors’ Jayne Gallagher and Jenny Shaw will share their experiences and knowledge of the Australian Seafood Industry and how WINSC has successfully benefited the sector and the progression of women across the industry.

Leonie, Jayne and Jenny from WINSC are currently on a European tour in advance of their speaking engagements at the World Seafood Congress in Iceland in September.

Leonie Noble, President of WINSC added; “Increasing the visibility of women in the Seafood Industry is hugely important, 55% of the Industry globally is made up of women but less than 5% sit in management positions. This needs to change and discussing how to do this is the first step to make it happen”

Ireland’s Seafood Industry, similar to other countries, is male dominated particularly in the fishing sector. For instance, there are less than 5 Irish fishing vessels with female registered owners and only a handful of active female fishers.  Despite a growing number of women working in the wider industry, a support network could encourage greater representation, leadership roles and recognition for the significant contribution women play in seafood.

Today’s event was funded under the European Maritime Fisheries Fund and is part of a wider change management programme for the fishing industry being implemented by BIM.

Left to Right: Vera O’Donovan, BIM, Leonie Noble, President, WINSC, Jim O’Toole and Kate Moore, MFV Misty Dawn