Attracting and retaining more women key to closing gender pay gap says SSF exec

Editorial Staff

“We’re battling outdated perceptions of the sector as being overly manual and a lack of awareness of the range of careers available in the present day”.

SalMar-backed salmon producer Scottish Sea Farms has posted improved gender pay gap figures.

Last year, the company reported that some measures had been adversely impacted following the acquisition of Grieg Seafood Shetland which saw an additional 146 men and 40 women join the team.

However, 2023 gender pay gap reporting, published earlier this week, confirms the salmon farmer has not only returned to its pre-acquisition position but also made slight advances, aided by ongoing work to benchmark and align pay grades across the integrated team.

Advances achieved include: 3.8% reduction in women’s mean hourly pay gap 5.4% reduction in women’s median hourly pay gap 1.2% more women in the top pay quartile 28.6% more women receiving bonus pay.

Fiona McCann, Head of HR at Scottish Sea Farms, acknowledges the challenges posed by the industry’s historical male dominance. While women and men receive equal median bonus pay, the predominance of men in higher pay quartiles affects the overall mean bonus pay gap, which has widened in 2023.

“What we can’t ignore, however, is that salmon farming was seen as a primarily male career for many years. As such we have significantly more men on the team than women, some 82% to 18% in 2023, impacting on other measures,” said McCann.

The single best way to close this and other gender-related pay gaps, according to McCann, is to attract and retain more women into the company and sector.

“Our priority has been, and always will be, to hire the best candidate for the job. We’ve made real progress with 109 women on our team currently in roles ranging from Freshwater Technician, Farm Manager and Fish Vet to Environmental Scientist, Laboratory Supervisor and Supply Chain Coordinator – but we’d like to see many more,” she said.

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“Overcoming such deeply engrained perceptions won’t happen overnight. We need to be as inventive as we are persistent in our work to attract more women, continually asking ourselves what more we can do and where else we could place ourselves to help raise awareness of the opportunities on offer.”


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