A comprehensive and wide ranging understanding of the current levels of engagement of women in the seafood sector will provide a valuable and ongoing resource to the wider seafood sector to increase women's engagement and participation.
To support and promote the value of fully engaged women participating effectively and helping to secure the future viability of the Australian seafood industry WISA needs to build critical skills of seafood women, delivered in a way that is accessible to them and encourages participation from rural and regional areas. This is particularly important for women under 30.
Researching (nationally and internationally) and better understanding the value of having greater diversity within seafood enterprises, associations, research agencies, at senior management, board and committee level will help WISA create an integrated online and offline skills development platform. The platform will need to be easily accessible by women, focused on the specific and particular needs of women and support and encourage greater participation by women in the seafood industry.
While there are resources available e.g e-leaders program there is a need for these resources to be reviewed and updated to target the specific needs of seafood women. Additionally, WISA needs to form strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships/alliances with other relevant organisations and networks and work with them to capitalise on opportunities provided through these partnerships.
Having skilled women is not sufficient to ensure that women are successful and effective contributors. It is also necessary to develop a specific pathway program for women to gain the confidence necessary to nominate and be selected for key management, board and committees. This will help seafood enterprises and organisations (industry, research and government) to increase diversity by enabling access to skilled women able to contribute to their success.