Kefalonia Fisheries CEO Lara Barazi-Yeroulanos challenged the audience at IntraFish's second Women in Seafood Leadership Summit last month: don't just talk about cultural change in your company, do something about it.
"I have a lot of experience with what it's like to be the only woman in the room," she said.
The seafood industry has been historically hard and dangerous -- that makes it understandable that it's male dominated.
"Today though, fisheries and aquaculture are a multi-billion-dollar industry," she said. "It's importance as a source of sustainable, nutritious protein will only increase going forward."
That said, the very tradition that makes the seafood industry so unique brings with it cultural biases that can make it challenging for women, Barazi-Yeroulanous said.
Barazi-Yeroulanous is one of the few female CEOs in the industry. How can other women get there?
"Well, I think all of us here have developed a process," she said. "Be good at what you do. Learn skills. Work hard, and then work harder. Be patient and develop a sense of humor. Use your EQ [emotional intelligence] -- we're good at this."
Mentorships, role models and allies, again, play a key role.
"What I'd really like to bring to the discussion is, how can we changes these attitudes collectively as a whole, and not just learn to succeed despite them?" she asked.
The commitment the industry has made to sustainability shows that it's capable of making seismic shifts, Barazi-Yeroulanous said.
"The message that we have to change as an industry has really sunk in -- both for fisheries and for aquaculture," she said. "Could we not advocate for the same commitment to change for women in seafood?
"I am proud to be working in an industry that I think is on the forefront of the blue revolution. I would be even prouder if it was at the forefront of gender equity."