Of the 120 million people who work in the fishing industry globally, almost half (47%) are women. If you’re surprised that women’s participation in the industry is so significant, you’re not alone. In fact, women’s contributions to the industry are often overlooked. In honour of International Women’s Day and this year’s theme: Choose to Challenge, we’re shining a light on the inequality that exists within the industry.
Women In The Fishing Industry
Although women work across a range of essential roles in the fishing industry—including managerial roles, policy making, trade, fisheries associations, retail, NGOs, and scientific research—data on how many women are employed in these roles isn’t available. This lack of data and awareness leads to a lack of recognition for women’s important contributions to the industry.
What is clear from research by the World Bank in 2010 and FOA in 2012 is that between 85.5 and 90 percent of processing workers worldwide are women. In general, these roles are the least valued and lowest paid in the fishing industry.
Our Commitment To Work Equality
As a company, we have always celebrated diversity and valued equality across every part of our business. Committed to promoting work equality across our supply chain, we work with suppliers to develop common codes of conduct for the treatment of all employees. We also partner with the International Pole and Line Foundation, which works to achieve gender parity in the seafood industry. The IPNLF supports research into the roles of women in the one-by-one fisheries and works to highlight their contributions.
As a proud member of the B Corp community, creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace is part of our ongoing commitment. Each B Corp is evaluated based on its impact on its workers, customers, and community, which includes its performance when it comes to diversity and inclusivity. A strong network of businesses sharing the goal to use business as a force for good, B Corp companies are uniquely positioned to challenge gender inequality.
Achieving Work Equality
Achieving gender equality in the fishing industry will require everyone in the industry to work together to quantify the contributions of women across the supply chain and to look at our workplaces to ensure that women are represented across all levels of the organization. Our strong company values and partnerships will make it possible for us to undertake these important tasks not just within our own company but across the entire supply chain.
As we choose to challenge gender inequality in the fishing industry, we hope you’ll do the same wherever you encounter inequality.