Since its inception, WiSA has grown into a powerful grassroots network with influence. Some of the challenges explored or mitigated by the group include housing, childcare, confidence, leadership, and career transitions: ultimately, WiSA not only supports initiatives for women to come into the sector, but actively looks for ways to improve the conditions for those already invested in it.
Three year review
March 2019 saw the launch of WiSA (Women in Scottish Aquaculture). With a tagline of Diversity Makes Us WiSA, the WiSA Advisory Group and women from across the sector met with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to highlight the challenges and opportunities for women entering and progressing through the sector. WiSA has supported women studying and working in the sector through a variety of initiatives including networking events, career discussions, confidence workshops, aquaculture-specific training, site visits, and a bespoke mentoring programme. This three year review highlights the achievements of the WiSA network and maps out the plan for the future.Download the three year review
Women Returners Programme
The Women Returners Programme was funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Skills Development Scotland, for women who have been out of the labour market for six months or more and want to restart their career journey.
Participants in the Returners Programme did not necessarily have a background in the aquaculture sector. They were keen to find out more about the reality of working in seafood production and the jobs that are available. The training has prepared the women for interviews, identified transferrable skills, connected them to a supportive network of aquaculture professionals, and increased their confidence in their own abilities.Watch a video about the Women Returners Programme
Scottish Sea Farms parental leave
A WiSA networking discussion sparked further dialogue between HR professionals and parents at Scottish Sea Farms, resulting in a parental leave policy change in favour of an enhanced paternity pay, in turn allowing fathers the opportunity of time with their new children without financial worry, thus supporting employees and their families in rural communities. We made a short video about the success story, which you can access below.Watch the video
Mentoring programme impact
Ellie Burch and Emma Matheson discuss their experience of the WiSA mentoring programme, how Emma’s support helped Ellie grow in confidence and how they have both taken a step out of their comfort zones. We created a video that shows how the mentor and mentee relationship was extremely beneficial on a professional level, but also became a friendship.Discover more