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Verlasso to sponsor IntraFish Women in Seafood Leadership Summit

The salmon producer was inspired by last year's event to help close the gender gap in seafood industry leadership.

United States-based Verlasso and IntraFish Media announced Thursday that the salmon producer will serve as silver sponsor of IntraFish's Women in Seafood Leadership Summit, to be held March 8 in Bergen, Norway, in conjunction with the North Atlantic Seafood Forum conference.

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After the massive success of last year's Seattle event, the Bergen summit will, once again, bring some of the industry's most prominent and promising female executives together to discuss the burning issue of how to make the seafood industry's leadership more diverse.

"Verlasso knows all to well the difficulty of the global gender gap at all levels," said Jennifer Bushman, of Route to Market, who is working as a strategic development consultant for Verlasso. "We know that there are a huge range of skills, ideas and perspectives that are lost when women and girls are not represented.

"For those of us engaged each and every day in the fish and seafood industry the gap seems even broader," she said. "Full inclusion seems to be a far away goal and the scarcity is especially stark in our leadership.

"It is through conferences such as this that raise awareness and empower a collective body to seek change each and every day," Bushmann added.

Kathy Liz, marketing manager for Verlasso, said attending last year's conference gave her motivation to "learn and understand the work climate and representation of women on our farms. On our last visit to Chile we met with our female farmers and discussed areas needed to support them best."

High-profile scholar invited

Verlasso said it is proud to sponsor the conference and to invite Alice Musabende, a Gates Scholar from Cambridge University, and former journalist who worked with Canada's major news organizations as well as at the House of Parliament.

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Musabende was born and raised in Rwanda. When she was 14 years old her family was killed during the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsis of 1994. She is currently completing a Master’s in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University and has previously worked as an international development worker in Rwanda.

At Cambridge, as a Gates Scholar, she is researching further the dynamics of peacebuilding in the context of post-conflict countries in the Great Lakes of Africa, by investigating ways through which international organizations navigate the normative crosscurrents that come with peacebuilding.

Musabende sees the impact of women’s integration into the fish and seafood system on the planet and how it is paramount to peace building. The role that fish and seafood plays in that balance and how women must work together in an effort to lead the world into great care for humanity.

"Verlasso is extremely honored and pleased to support IntraFish and the entire roster of speakers and attendees as they create impact at every level through this conference," the company said.

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IntraFish first launched the Women in Seafood initiative with a series of interviews with key female leaders in 2015 to a resounding response to push the issue further up the industry's agenda.

In response, IntraFish held the first Women in Seafood Leadership Summit in Seattle last year.

The event was an overwhelming success, with charismatic speakers from Whole Foods, Trident, Icicle Seafoods, Love the Wild, Seafish, ASMI and Regal Springs making for a high-energy evening inspiring change and renewed drive in the industry.

This year's event promises to be just as inspiring, with speakers from Trident, Grieg Seafood, Regal Springs Europe, the Norwegian Seafood Council, Cargill Aqua Nutrition, Salmon Group and Kefalonia Fisheries topping the line-up.

A full schedule of the evening will be released soon.

Executives are encouraged to request a seat at the event by visiting www.intrafishevents.com/womeninseafood.

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