Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is launching a mentorship program aimed at helping underrepresented groups find employment opportunities in the ocean economy.
The Supercluster, whose five-year mandate ends next year, is best known for funding partnerships on oceans-related research and development projects, though it also supports ecosystem projects aimed at improving the sustainablity and diversity of nautical industries.
Dubbed the Blue Mentorship and Leadership Pathways Project, the initiative will recruit experienced industry players to mentor people from minority groups. It will be led by Calgary-based ECO Canada, which is a non-profit that offers skills training for environmental jobs, along with Dartmouth’s Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Nova Scotia Community College, the Fredericton-based Indigenous group the Joint Economic Development Initiative and Newfoundland’s College of the North Atlantic.
“Equity, diversity, and inclusion are some of the driving principles of this project that will ensure that women, Indigenous participants, and other visible minorities have access to career advancement and new employment opportunities,” said the supercluster in a statement.
In its statement, the Supercluster did not specify the length of the project, but said it will cost $920,000, with $460,000 coming from the supercluster itself and the rest from the project partners.
Earlier this year, Entrevestor’s 2021 Canadian Oceantech Data Report found that female entrepreneurs — an often underrepresented cohort — fared well at a national level, founding or co-founding 23 percent of the companies we surveyed and raising about a quarter of all equity funding.