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Issue No.61
  • :0973-1156
  • :August
  • :2020

Yemaya Newsletter on Gender and Fisheries, Issue No. 61, August 2020

A resolute mussel farmer

Amélie Dennebouy has challenged gender stereotypes to become a successful mussel entrepreneur in Pénestin, France


“ We don’t employ women!” Just how many times Amélie Dennebouy, a mussel farm worker, heard that phrase since she began working in the sector at age 17, it would be impossible to say. “Ten years ago, I realised that it would be difficult to find employment in the production segment because I am a woman,” says Amélie. Stories flood her mind: managers laughing at her when she handed in an application for work as a production worker, pushing her to the sales department instead; the crude questioning of some: “Have you passed under the desk?”

“For four years now, I have been trying to get a job in the coquilles Saint-Jacques (scallops) operations. I have good credentials from three managers, to no avail. They are disappointed and now understand my situation.”

Amélie Dennebouy remains undeterred. Indeed, the obstacles along the way seem to have reinforced her determination to do what she likes. It all started at high school. Her father worked for Veolia, a French multinational corporation. Her mother was a social care worker. As a teenager, she follo