Aquaculture North America

Leading the way: Women in North American Aquaculture 2023

July 26, 2023
By Maryam Farag

Registrations are open for WINAAS 2023, an event bringing together female influencers from different sectors of aquaculture.

At last year’s Women in North American Aquaculture Summit (WINAAS), Julie Kuchepatov, founder of Seafood and Gender Equality (SAGE) kicked off the event by her keynote, Shine Bright Like a Diamond, sharing insights into the challenges women in the aquaculture sector face and how they compare to those experienced by the inspiring music sensation, Rihanna.

After that, a Recruitment and Mentorship panel took place, featuring Kathleen Offman Mathisen, CHRO at Grieg Seafood Norway, Leah Stoker, senior consultant at Aquaculture Talent, and Tina Garlinski-Gonsky, director of human resources at Grieg Seafood BC.

The discussion revolved around the challenges met when looking for aquaculture jobs and finding career mentors.

The next session featured a panel discussion, Women in Leadership: “View from the Top”, and panelists included Diane Morrison, Managing Director, MOWI Canada West, Briana Warner, CEO, Atlantic Seafarms, and Jennifer Woodland, former Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood CEO, and now managing director at Grieg Seafood BC. The panel, full of women in the C-suite level, shared their journeys and stories about leadership and how they got there.


Jeanne McKnight, executive director, at Northwest Aquaculture Alliance presented Aquaculture Advocacy: “Empowering an Industry”, where she discussed the challenges and the opportunities of the aquaculture industry, the blue economy ecosystem, strategies that are making a difference, and ways to advocate for the aquaculture industry.

The final panel moderated by Imani Black, founder and CEO of Minorities in Aquaculture (MIA). It featured an open discussion with Black and MIA members Natalie Abdo, Taja Sims-Harper and Anoushka Concepcion about their different experiences as women of colour in the aquaculture industry. 

This year, we are excited to announce that the Women in North American Aquaculture Summit 2023 will be held September 7, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. EST. Join us online for this free event, shining a well-deserved spotlight on women in North America’s aquaculture industry, who inspire, lead and encourage new generations of women entering the industry.

We will be hosting live panel discussions and on-demand sessions exploring topics such as communicating aquaculture and seafood online, sustainability and technology practices being put in place to help meet the growing global demand for healthy seafood, and a special panel on Young Salmon Farmers in BC, a group aiming to to be an inclusive body that leads, informs, and sustains a positive dialogue about ocean-based salmon farming in rural coastal Vancouver Island communities.

Click here for more to view full event agenda and to register now!

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