Fishing organisation develops successful female employees

24 August 2016

Many of the women that have risen through the ranks at Sea Harvest come from humble beginnings; training and mentorship programmes have developed them into leading women within the organisation. Pictured above from left to right are some of the leading ladies at Sea Harvest’s Saldanha Bay plant, Gillian Felaar, Palesa Molelle, Idolene Macca and Sthoko Nyawo, who have benefitted from growth and skills development opportunities provided by the company.

As the largest employer in Saldanha Bay, employing more than 1 300 women, many opportunities for career growth and skills development have been created at Sea Harvest, which has a direct economic impact on the local community.

“Overcoming challenges and the support received from Sea Harvest are what motivated me to achieve more in my life,” says Gillian Felaar, Factory Shift Manager at Sea Harvest Saldanha. “I come from a single parent household and witnessed how hard my mother worked to provide for all of us. After matric, I completed my National Diploma in Food Technology and my goal was to become a manager before I turned 30. I achieved this goal in July 2014 when, at the age of 29, I was appointed as Quality Systems Manager at Sea Harvest. In this position my knowledge of the cold chain process and fresh fish produce grew,” Felaar explains. Today, thanks to her inspirational mentors, as well as her continued dedication and drive, Felaar is a Factory Shift Manager at Sea Harvest.

Factory Shift Managers and Quality Systems Managers at Sea Harvest ensure that both the employees and the processes put in place operate at the required levels to maintain the premium quality of products offered by Sea Harvest. For this reason, investment in training and skills development of staff take priority. “A total of 12 195 Sea Harvest staff members received training from the beginning of 2010 to the end of 2015, 60% of which were female, indicating the commitment made by Sea Harvest to empower women working at Sea Harvest,” explains Sea Harvest Human Resource Director, Mary-Lou Harry.

Staff members are encouraged to further their skills and qualifications by enrolling in part time courses, the costs of which are often covered by Sea Harvest. “Each step in our production line has an impact on the final quality of the product being delivered. With operations at sea and on land, the quality of the production line plays an important role in Sea Harvest’s overall success. We acknowledge the importance of, supporting and investing in the continuous training of our staff members. This enables us to consistently deliver high quality products,” adds Harry.

For Idolene Macca, Factory Shift Manager at Sea Harvest Saldanha Bay, attitude is everything. “Hard work and determination is needed to be successful in life. I have been with Sea Harvest since 2013 and quickly learned that being a go-getter and doing work to the best of one’s abilities goes a long way. Since joining the company, I have been offered various opportunities for growth. In 2015, I was promoted to Factory Shift Manager. For me, continuous learning is important as it creates new opportunities to contribute to the success of the company. Fortunately, Sea Harvest assists with the costs related to training,” comments Macca.

“I have learnt that failure and obstacles are necessary to prepare for success,” says Sthoko Nyawo, Quality Systems Manager at Sea Harvest. “Throughout my life I have faced many challenges and it is only with sheer determination and a belief in achieving my dreams that I have been able to succeed. I have been with Sea Harvest for four years, and within this time I progressed from a Junior New Product Development Technologist to a Quality Systems Manager due to the ongoing support and guidance from Sea Harvest. To succeed, one needs to be willing to do whatever work is required and to remain humble, while continuing to learn every day.”

“The fresh fish operations at Sea Harvest is under the care of the many inspiring women who are driven by passion and commitment for what they do. Perseverance, having the right attitude and overcoming obstacles are all in a day’s work for these exceptional women,” concludes Macca.

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