Mentors wanted for women’s network

The launch of WiSA earlier this year with, from left to right, Graham Black of Marine Scotland, Charlotte Maddocks and Heather Jones

A NEW mentoring programme for women in aquaculture is to be launched in Scotland in the New Year.

The scheme aims to match some of the most influential leaders in the industry with aspiring women in the sector looking to develop their careers and skills.

Women in Scottish Aquaculture (WiSA) is now looking for both mentors and mentees for the initiative, which is government funded and to be delivered in partnership with Skillfluence.

Participants will meet in one-to-one sessions over several months to develop skills such as creating a network, making career decisions, cultivating leadership styles, and building confidence.

Charlotte Maddocks, co-chair of WiSA and a vet at Mowi Scotland, said: ‘WiSA mentoring is about matching the experience of one person with the potential of another.

‘We are looking for female mentees, as well as female and male mentors, from across the industry who want to make a difference by taking part in the programme, helping us encourage and nurture aquaculture’s next generation of female leaders.

‘Being a mentor can be an incredibly rewarding experience, contributing to professional development and helping to shape the industry’s future.’

WiSA was formed after a Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) consultation of 200 people working in the sector found 90 per cent of respondents supported a women’s network.

The Scottish government announced £20,000 investment in WiSA at the Association of Scottish Shellfish Growers conference in Oban on October 31.

Combined with £30,000 of industry sponsorship, the funding is being used to encourage more women to enter the sector and provide a network across industry and academia.

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, said: ‘Supporting women in playing a more prominent role in aquaculture is a vital step in helping the industry to grow.

‘The mentoring programme is the first of many initiatives that will help us to build capacity, confidence and capability amongst women working in Scottish aquaculture.’

If anyone is interested in becoming a WiSA mentor or mentee they can apply by January 10, 2020, at: https://wisa.scottishaquaculture.com/.