Though historically cast as a male-dominated industry, the seafood industry has been equally built–and is thriving–thanks to the hard work of female leaders in various roles around the globe. The past few years have seen an evolution in this topic, with more and more seafood industry publications and events dedicating time, space, and resources to help elevate the voices of women in seafood.
As a strong supporter of this growing movement, in this month’s blog we wanted to highlight one of our own powerhouse female leaders, Rona Pasaribu. Read below to find out more about Rona’s experiences and what drives her work at BSI–then stay tuned, as this blog is the first in a mini-series highlighting the many women who help to power our progress.
Q: What is your role at BSI, and how long have you worked with the team?
A: I have been working with BSI since January 2018 as a Government Relations Officer. As a seafood company that has great interest in empowering fisher communities and sustainability, BSI works closely with many layers of government and the local people. My role is to help and ensure cooperation and collaboration among parties is working and fruitful for each party.
Q: How did you get into the seafood industry/what drove you to this career?
A: I worked as a paralegal in one of Indonesia’s biggest law firms, where I learned a lot about Indonesian law, government structure, and investment. Also, at the very beginning of my career, I started a small circle of professional volunteers in community development on an island near where I live, where most of the locals work in the fishery sector. One of my ways to penetrate the community is through informal education and soft skill sharing. So when the opportunity of working with BSI to develop a community was given to me, I had to say yes!
Q: What is the most rewarding part of working for BSI?
A: The most rewarding part of working for BSI is the feeling of being useful for other people. Knowing that what you are doing is not only for yourself and your family, but also for others. BSI gives me opportunities to have direct contact with the locals, to learn a lot and find out any issues raised in a community, and to help people to develop.
Q: How do you hope opportunities will continue to grow for women in seafood? Where do you see potential to grow the industry’s diversity?
A: I hope there will be more women taking part in the seafood industry. In my opinion, women can contribute both in technical works and strategic planning for the industry as long as the opportunities are given.
Q: Indonesia has some strong female government leaders. From your time working in government, what lessons did you learn from these leaders that you now take to your current position?
A: I learned that good female leaders do not consider themselves as inferior. They equipped themselves with skills, knowledge, and experience that make them ready to compete with anyone and contribute in many sectors. It is what is inside us and what we are willing to do that matters.