Over twenty women in Puerto Montt, Chile, are currently working in welding for AKVA.
In a press release, AKVA writes about the women who have have been trained in welding, producing pens and walkways for local and export markets, as events mark today’s International Women’s Day.
The inclusive programme has been in place for a year and is all about “promoting sustainable development.”
The AKVA group, which provides aquaculture technology and services to the salmon industry — with headquarters in Puerto Montt — last year created the program to include women in their productive processes and welding workshops. The purpose of this program is to promote the employment of local women in the workplace through a commitment to gender equality.
“We want to see more empowered women working in the salmon industry. For a year, the company has been developing inclusion and training projects for women in the welding area, to create excellent products, with the best welders from both genders,” wrote Andrew Campbell, regional president of AKVA group for America, UK, and Australasia.
First women-only course
There are now 23 women in the welding workshop of the company. They were previously trained in the AKVA academy which initially offered men-only courses, then mixed classes, and finally, the first women-only course. “This is a call for women to accomplish everything they set their minds on, and we are willing to accompany them in this process. Sustainability is also about people, collaboration among local people and the local communities”, Campbell emphasized.
“Could I do it?” wondered Jeanette Salazar, food technician and secretary, and now a pioneer of the nocturnal female welders in AKVA group Chile. “I never imagined working in something like this. I had to prove to myself that I could do it. The world is changing. And this is a major turn, very important and positive for me. It was hard in the beginning because it was an area full of men and tough work, and today I really enjoy it. I feel integrated and capable of performing in any area”, she enthusiastically commented.
In welding, the women specialize in raw material, structure, and accessories, receiving training over 6 months, to produce pens and walkways of high quality, for the local and export markets. There are over 350 people working in Chile, including 46 women in different areas. At the beginning of the program, there was a concern that it would not work, but today it has been successful. “We are going to change what is considered normal. In AKVA group we recognize the female contribution and celebrate their participation,” concluded Campbell.
AKVA group has bases in Chile, Norway, Denmark, Scotland, Iceland, Canada, Australia, Turkey, and Spain. Their products include pontoons, pens, recirculation systems, feeding systems, feeding chambers, submarine lights, environmental sensors, feeding assistants with artificial intelligence, production and process control software.