Sea change for women: WISA program encourages future leaders


Thursday, 17 June, 2021


Sea change for women: WISA program encourages future leaders

A pioneering program to encourage women in seafood to take leadership roles in the industry in the future is about to enter its second year.

Women in Seafood Australasia (WISA) — an Australian national organisation representing women in the seafood industry — is calling on members to take part in the Women in Seafood Participations Pathways Program to ensure they are ready to help lead the way.

WISA President Karen Holder said this year’s C-Leaders Online Program is open to women throughout the country and across the sea to New Zealand, and solves the challenges of distance.

“This course is all about the basics of leadership — it is open to women at any level,” Holder said. “People can use it as a springboard or a platform to consider where their journey might take them, and they can do it from the safety and security of their own home. This is a rural and regional-based industry and this program allows women to take this first step towards leadership without having to go to a capital city.”

The course, made possible by a Fisheries Research and Development Corporation grant, helps women from all states and territories, working in all facets of seafood, from catching to farming, and from research to wholesale, to effectively participate in their industry.

Holder said the program includes a structured six-week course that helps develop self-awareness and confidence, identifies leadership skills and strengths, helps participants deal with challenges and builds capacity. Sessions are held once a week. The program includes a session with industry leaders where participants can hear from experts and can ask questions.

Holder said the inaugural 2020 C-Leaders Participation Pathways Program brought a diverse group of women together online, representing an extremely diverse industry that includes wild catch, aquaculture, wholesale, post-harvest, market development and government.

“It went well, and we are now able to refine what worked well for this second program,” she said.

Holder said she believes encouraging, supporting and building the capacity of women within the seafood industry will have benefits for the industry as a whole.

WISA is also developing strong partnerships with other industry and government bodies to create an even stronger platform for women working in seafood-related areas.

To find out more about Women in Seafood Australasia, visit womeninseafood.org.au.

Image caption: Karen Holder with crab pots.

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