Women put off fishing and brewing by safety and macho behaviour

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Women are put-off joining the marine and fisheries sector because of macho behaviour
Women are put-off joining the marine and fisheries sector because of macho behaviour

Related tags Gender

Macho behaviour and safety fears are putting women off working in the brewing and fisheries industries, according to research.

Breweries were the most unappealing work environment for women, with 41% identifying safety as a concern, a poll of 1,000 UK women by foul weather clothing manufacturer Stormline claimed.

Women also identified patronising colleagues as a turn-off for working in the sector.

The marine and fishing sector was identified as the second most unsafe industry by women, with 39% saying they would feel unsafe working within it. The military sector was identified as the most unsafe.

Driving away professionals

These safety fears were driving away lots of talented professionals, both men and women, Regan McMillan, director of Stormline, claimed.  

“While the marine industry in particular isn’t for the faint-hearted, technology has changed dramatically over recent years and safety has improved a lot,”​ he said.  

“I would encourage anyone, male or female, considering a marine career, to speak to people currently working at sea to get their take on it. Social media is great for this and if it helps increase the number of women in our industry, that’s only going to be a good thing.

Genevieve Kurilec, a commercial fishing captain, who runs the Chix who Fish Facebook group and website, said: “In my experience women tend to be more safety conscious and detail oriented, which makes us an excellent asset to any crew working in a dangerous occupation.”

There would always be men in society who patronised women, she claimed.

What puts women off careers

  • Macho atmosphere
  • Safety
  • Patronising male colleagues
  • Unpleasant working conditions
  • Low pay
  • Boring work
  • Unattractive wording on adverts

“The camaraderie found in the majority of the commercial fishing industry far outweighs the petty few who do not recognise the capabilities of women employed in marine occupations,” ​she said.

“If you do your job, put in your time and take care of your vessel you will earn the respect of your fellow fishermen, gender notwithstanding.”


Such concerns about working environments were more off-putting than poor pay levels or boring job roles, Stormline claimed.

Caroline Livesey, a geotechnical design consultant, claimed both genders were inclined to assume women couldn’t make good engineers as it was not a role that they naturally saw them in.

“The downside of this is that women continue to have to break down those barriers in order to progress in this industry,” ​she said.

“On a day-to-day basis females in civil engineering have to work far harder than their male counterparts to earn respect, to progress, and to be trusted technically.”

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