Benchmark women making a difference in aquaculture: Auður Eyberg Helgadóttir

Auður Eyberg Helgadóttir, Station Manager at Stofnfiskur, discusses how her passion for animals led her to work in the Aquaculture industry, the importance of doing what you love, and how Stofnfiskur is a great company to work for if you want to learn and grow. 

What made you decide to study aquaculture?

It was an easy decision because I love animals – the question was when studying, would it be hairy animals like dogs and cats or fish. If I decided on dogs and cats, I would have a house full of pets, so it was easy, I took the fish! I still have a full house of pets though, but I’d maybe have more! I find fish really interesting, and I also love the ocean.

Can you describe your career trajectory and what does your current role involve?

I have BSc in Biology and diploma in Aquaculture. After university I worked in security for a while, followed by work at Stolt Sea Farm as a Biologist. While I was working there I saw an advert in the newspaper for a job at Stofnfiskur and they were looking for a Biologist, working with lumpfish. Fortunately, I got the job. I started in the hatchery, and after a little bit more than a year, I became Assistant Manager in the Quarantines station for lumpfish and Crossbreed RAS. I’m currently Station Manager, where I take care of lumpfish broodstock. Another responsibility is that I’m a permit representative, so I also take care of permits and licenses and I´m a part of the Quality department. Stofnfiskur is a really good company, especially if you like to learn and grow. I’m just starting a masters program in the management of leadership at Bifröst. I receive a lot of support and I’m growing and developing every day.

Tell us about the team you work with.

My job is a mix of working with lumpfish and the quality department, so I have two teams. Both are wonderful. I’ve known the lumpfish team for longer, but I’m really good friends with both teams, you can really count on these people. I’ve been working with the lumpfish team for six years, so we’re like a family. You can always count on them.

Who has supported you on your way?

My husband, my work colleagues, and also my manager has helped me to grow.

When you compare your country to others, what would you say about diversity in business?

It’s hard to say as I’ve only lived in Iceland. I feel it’s better when compared to my friends from other countries. It’s easier to get good jobs and it’s easier to grow and develop. There’s always competition, but it’s not as hard as in other countries. As far as family goes, I have two sons, they’re 15 and 21 now, it’s a really good place for children, I love being here.

Do you think aquaculture is a good industry for women to work in?

Yes, of course, it’s good for women, like men. In hatcheries I think being a woman is an advantage because we have the mother instinct, we are nurturing towards the small fish.

What are your core values at work, and why?

Be helpful and do what you love and have a passion for, so you can grow and be happy. You are 8 hours a day in work, it’s a big part of your life, so it’s important to enjoy it.

What do you think your spirit animal would be?

A wolf because I love wolves, and also because I have a husky. A wolf is protective and stands on its own feet, they are strong and alert.

If a movie was made of your life, what would the genre be and who would play you?

Maybe a comedy – ‘The busy lady’. I’m always running, my friend says I’m like Forest Gump! I’m always busy, doing something and having fun. I think I’d like Sandra Bullock to play me.

Which hashtag would you give yourself?

#onelifeliveit

What is your favorite aquatic animal, and why?

Dolphins. They’re so beautiful and always at peace.

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