Being happy at work relies on more what’s happening in the workplace itself. It relies on good physical, emotional and mental health too.
As employers, it offers us the widest possible range of talent, specialisms, experience, and perspectives to recruit from. As employees, it ensures that those with the most suitable skills and experience get the job.
With technology playing an increasing role, and a growing emphasis on both science and service, we’re working hard to raise awareness of the wide range of careers available amongst as diverse an employee profile as possible.
Salmon farming has come a long way in recent years. Once dominated by a largely male workforce carrying out primarily manual labour, innovative technologies and IT now play an increasingly important role, as do science and customer service.
The result is that there is a wider range of careers on offer than ever before: from the core roles of fish husbandry and fish health, processing, sales and logistics, to essential support services such as health and safety, engineering, environment, IT, HR and many more.
We’ve been working hard across a number of areas to encourage as many female candidates to apply for these roles as possible, in:
- Raising awareness of the wide range of careers available via our school programme, the Aquaculture Academy
- Inviting female employees to join us at school and university careers events to offer first-hand insights and experiences to interested candidates
- Enhancing our maternity and paternity leave packages for employees with one or more years’ service
- Offering the option of a phased return to work for new mums
- Supporting the WiSA Women Returners Programme, coordinated by the Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre, to help women living in rural areas and not currently in employment to get back to work.
Women in management
While any major shift-change takes time to bring about fully, we are seeing increases across the board, not just with more female employees than ever before but with:
- More female Farm Managers – we now have five female farm managers, four in marine and one within freshwater
- More females on the business management team – currently, the business management team consists of 10 males and five females
- More females on the leadership team – brought into being in 2020, there’s a 50/50 male female split
- New to 2020, the Young People’s Council – a voluntary initiative consisting of 10 male employees and five female employees all under the age of 28.
Gender pay gap
We take the issue of equal pay very seriously: from basic rate of pay right through to discretionary bonuses.
To see how we’re performing in terms of closing the gender pay gap, you can download our latest report below.
To see how we compare against the Scottish national average, click here.
An inclusive work culture goes beyond simply gender – we are an increasingly diverse team in terms of age too.
Where once we had a minimum age of 18 for our marine farming or processing vacancies, there’s now scope to join Scottish Sea Farms straight from school, undergoing training and development as part of the role.
Young People’s Council
Employees aged 28 or under now account for a third of our workforce, prompting us to introduce our Young People’s Council in 2020.
It aims to ensure that the views of our younger employees are sought, listened to, and acted upon when it comes to how the Scottish Sea Farms of the future could and should look. After all, it’s our younger employees who take the lead in years to come.
At the other end of the scale, our long service award scheme is designed to show our longer serving employees how much we value their contribution and loyalty.
For those approaching retirement, there’s the option to move into a mentor role in the final years of employment so that their knowledge and experience can be shared with younger colleagues and retained within the business for years to come.
For anyone wishing to continue working beyond retirement age, there’s the option to do so for as long as they feel fit and able.
Combined, it’s our way of ensuring we retain the considerable know-how that already exists within Scottish Sea Farms, whilst also attracting emerging talent and new ideas into the company.
Key to encouraging a diverse workforce is making more people aware of salmon farming – something we do by attending careers events at local schools, colleges and universities, and by hosting our own ‘open door events’, amongst other activities.
Most recently, we’ve teamed up with military recruitment specialist JobOppO which supports ex-forces personnel to transition to civilian life with employment suited to their skills and know-how.
By advertising vacancies on the platform, we not only widen our reach to include highly skilled candidates that we might not otherwise have reached, but we also contribute to JobOppo’s fund for service families. A win-win.
Scottish Sea Farms has no shortage of ex-services role models across its farming estate. To read their real-life experiences, check back soon.
In the meantime, you can read more about the work of JobOppo here.
With Scottish farmed salmon enjoyed the world over, it’s little surprise that the sector has long attracted a diverse range of nationalities from the EU and further afield.
Without doubt, Brexit has impacted on that diversity. However, we’re committed to doing what we can to make sure all employees feel part of the same Scottish Sea Farms family.
Ways we can help:
- Guidance on work permit and visa requirements
- Financial help towards the cost of relocation
- Support with finding suitable accommodation.
All of which we will tailor to your exact role, location and personal circumstances.
Diversity in the broadest sense
The examples given above are just a flavour of our commitment to being an inclusive employer.
Our aim is to offer a workplace where people of all backgrounds and circumstances feel accepted, valued and supported, both in their own team and the wider company, without having to conform to anyone else’s expectations.