Pure Salmon Kaldnes is now gearing up for growth, and among their main goals is helping to increase fish welfare and to reduce the industry´s environmental footprint internationally.
The share of women in Pure Salmon Kaldnes has nearly quadrupled in just one year, from nine to 34 percent. More than half of the newly hired employees over the past year were women. “It is not sustainable to have a competence-based company staffed almost entirely by men,” said director of communications and HR, Per Håkon Stenhaug.
In June last year, the aquaculture division of the Sandefjord-based company Krüger Kaldnes, which then had just over 50 employees, was sold to the international group 8F Asset Management.
The group focuses on sustainable land-based salmon farming. The new company, Pure Salmon Kaldnes AS, currently has 106 employees, and will employ another 14 subject specialists in the coming months. In other words, the staff has more than doubled in the space of a year. The aim is to double the current number of employees within two years to handle future assignments both abroad and in Norway.
When the acquisition was completed in the summer of 2021, only nine percent of the people employed by the company were women. It was therefore an important goal to increase this figure.
Since then, Pure Salmon Kaldnes has welcomed a “female invasion” of the company. Now, more than every third employee is a woman.
An industry responsibility
“This is the result of a purposeful plan. The aquaculture industry, although it has improved in recent years, is still fairly male-dominated. Our goal has always been to take a clear and distinct industry responsibility to help change this,” said director of communications and HR, Per Håkon Stenhaug.
“Right now, we have reached a female share of 34 percent. Considering today’s job market, and that these are positions that require strong competencies, we are incredibly pleased to be able to attract so many talented and highly qualified women to Pure Salmon Kaldnes in such a short time. Hopefully this means that we have done something right, and that the company is perceived as an attractive workplace also for women” said Stenhaug.
The HR director will work purposefully to further increase the share of women in the years to come.
Equal pay for equal competence
“We want to achieve more or less equal gender ratio in the company,” said Stenhaug.
In the autumn of 2021, the company carried out an analysis and made some adjustments to ensure that salaries and conditions were solely linked to each employee´s competence and performance.
“It is neither desirable, realistic nor sustainable to run an international and competence-based company that rely almost entirely on men for further growth and development,” said Stenhaug.
People at the core
Andersskog´s reflections also resonate with Lise Mikkelsen, 55. She is living proof that changing professions is not just reserved for employees in their 20s and 30s. Last autumn, the 55-year-old got the job as assistant HR manager, coming from the position as office manager at Gullik Gulliksen Landskapsarkitekter.
“I was not actually looking for a new job. But I was caught by the job advertisement for Pure Salmon Kaldnes, which focused on the people working in the organization. It struck a chord with me, since I am very interested in strong, value-based culture in the workplace and being able to create something together,” said Mikkelsen.
“Matched my values”
“For me, it was definitely a bonus that there were so many newly hired women in the company,” said Trine-Lise Økland. The 35-year-old was hired as a purchaser in Pure Salmon Kaldnes in May, coming from the oil industry and the Wood group. “I also strongly desired to work in a green industry,” said Økland.
“My choice of company was also value-based. The values of Pure Salmon Kaldnes mirrored my own, and it is also very exciting to be part of a company and industry in strong growth,” said Eirin Stene, 31, from Sandefjord. She is a newly hired accounting employee who came from the company Ernst & Young, where she worked as an accountant.
Sustainability and fish welfare
Process engineer Renate Ottebergsen, 28, came directly to the company from studies at Aalborg University, where she earnt a master’s degree in energy technology. She finds it motivating to be involved in developing the industry and the company. “The focus on sustainability and animal welfare triggered me the most,” said the 28-year-old.
Newly hired Global Head of Quality and HSE in Pure Salmon Kaldnes, Synnøve Helland, 53, states that diversity and the company’s values, focusing on sustainability, animal welfare and human resources, were crucial for her when choosing to leave an important position as CEO of Nofima’s research station at Sunndalsøra.
“A steadily increasing share of women is very good for the company. Greater diversity means that we get a stronger and more generous culture that eventually will lead to better development and results,” said Helland.