Caught fishes sorting to baskets by Vietnamese women workers in Tac Cau fishing port, Me Kong delta province of Kien Giang, south of Vietnam
Caught fishes sorting to baskets by Vietnamese women workers in Tac Cau fishing port, Me Kong delta province of Kien Giang, south of Vietnam

Gender Equality Dialogues to promote diversity, collective creativity, and innovation

Seafood and Gender Equality (SAGE) and the International Organization for Women in the Seafood Industry (WSI) have announced the Gender Equality Dialogues.

Therefore, the new program offers leaders in the seafood sector the opportunity to align on the key barriers to gender equality across the sector.

Furthermore, make measurable and actionable commitments and leave equipped with the tools and information to drive tangible, enduring change.

SAGE and WSI will lead a cohort of industry leaders. Through a series of virtual meetings over approximately one year, rooted in spirited pre-competitive collaboration amongst companies and organizations.

"We are very excited to launch the Gender Equality Dialogues in partnership with WSI," said Julie Kuchepatov, Founder of SAGE.

"Not only are we gathering a group of seafood leaders into collaboration, but also collaborating pre-competitively to build the most robust program possible to eliminate redundancies and confusion in the sector. By uniting, we are showing that this is an important issue that we all must address collectively," she continued.

The purpose of the program

The program will start with a primer on key issues and information and experience-sharing among participants. Then, it will progress to alignment on challenges, priorities, and commitments to action before collaboratively determining. Also, adapting guidance and tools that participants can use to implement commitments while measuring and monitoring their progress.

For instance, the Gender Equality Dialogues are for anyone who recognizes that the industry has a gender inequality problem. But isn't sure of the various, multifaceted ways that it exists.

This program is perfect for those who are ready and willing to do the work. But also desire accountability, a clear structure for jumping into action, and tools to support the implementation of commitments.

Likewise and unique to other collaborative programs that bring seafood companies into alignment around a problem and solutions, the Gender Equality Dialogues seek producer participants to join the dialogues.

Camille Cherques, Managing Director of WSI said, "It is important to include from the onset every seafood stakeholder around the table to make the dialogues a two-way exchange. To understand better issues and to increase diversity, collective creativity, and innovation.

Where all begin

"The idea for the Dialogues originated from the conclusions of a global survey conducted by WSI in 2018. It showed the gap of knowledge on the issues in the sector. We are very happy to partner with SAGE so that it becomes a tangible project, starting in North America," she concluded.

Finally, the Gender Equality Dialogues it is scheduled to start in mid-2023. The founders are Builders Initiative, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The Walton Family Foundation and Sea Pact funded the initial development of the Gender Equality Dialogues.

When asked about funding the project, Sam Grimley, Executive Director at Sea Pact, said: "Sea Pact wants to be involved in issues leading to transformational change. Helping to establish a dialogue on gender equality in seafood is one clear way we can help strengthen the industry."

About Seafood and Gender Equality

Seafood and Gender Equality (SAGE) uplifts, amplifies and integrates diverse voices in the global seafood sector to build a more resilient industry. SAGE aims to build gender parity, ensure that women's contributions to the sector are recognized, and promote responsible production. SAGE's three-pronged approach focuses on raising awareness, building community, and supporting gender mainstreaming (the integration of gender considerations into day-to-day activities).

About Women in the Seafood Industry

Led by Director Camille Cherques and based in France, Women in the Seafood Industry (WSI) is an international not-for-profit NGO. It raises gender awareness in the global seafood industry and influencing decision-makers.

WSI was founded in 2016 by seafood and gender experts as a feminist organization. It fights against gender-based discrimination and inequity and promoting more inclusive policies and gender-sensitive practices in the seafood sector.

Their main activities include communication, research, content creation, and advocacy. WSI is supported by the FAO, the French Development Agency, certification schemes, and seafood companies.

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