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June 06, 2017 by Elisabeth Fischer

Women in Seafood: Expertise Has No Gender

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One Asian seafood exec has some strong advice for aspiring female leaders in the seafood industry. 

After 27 years in the seafood industry, Chingling Tanco knows her way around in the sector -- and has some strong advice for aspiring female future leaders: you can only win with knowledge and expertise.

Having built a business with Philippines-based seafood brokerage Mida Trade Ventures International and importer and distributor Mida Food Distributors, in which she is both the managing director and a major shareholder, Tanco knows that the industry is facing difficulties attracting young female talent into the sector

       "It's not a glamorous job," she told IntraFish. "The perception is that you have to be out at the plants a lot, looking at fish. It's not an attractive industry and it takes a certain type of personality."

IntraFish Women in Seafood Leadership Summit puts careers, challenges and social impact in spotlight

Recounting her early days in the industry, Tanco said she was lucky enough to have met people who were passionate about their job -- which ignited something in her.  

        "For me it was a build-up of opportunities," she said. "I continued to meet people who were willing to teach me what they loved doing."

Tanco said she doesn't know if being a woman -- especially in Asia -- makes a difference in the sector. "A personality of passion about what you do has no gender," she said. 

Her advice to aspiring female leaders is simple. 

        "Just try and learn as much as you can about what you're doing and just love it," she said. "Learn and get some expertise because that always gets you in the door. Learn the product, love seafood and build on that."

Tanco believes the industry will be growing in the future, which means women will have to play a bigger role in taking over management roles in the future. 

         "There might be more profitable sectors but it has an immense diversity," something that should lure more females into the sector, she added. 

"Once it gets into your systems it sticks with you. To me the key is expertise and real curiosity and not that I'm a woman," she told IntraFish. "That's the traction and that has no gender."



June 07, 2017


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