Spotlight on the role of women in food and agriculture at Amsterdam summit

wifa afAgriBriefing’s Women in Food and Agriculture initiative, launched earlier this year to promote the role of women across the agribusiness supply chain, has announced the release of an industry-wide survey, in conjunction with Alltech

With the global population projected to rise to more than nine billion by 2050 and the demand for food expected to jump sharply, the need for value gained through accessing all available talent assumes greater urgency than before.

The aim of the initiative has been to highlight the current state of our industry. This is not about giving women special treatment or an unfair advantage, but about ensuring we have the facts and skills required to create a level playing field.

Conducted in October 2019, the results catalogue the opinions and experiences of over 2,500 employees working in food and agriculture business around the world. The results have been reviewed by AgriBriefing’s own journalists, with additional data analysis by independent market research consultants Savanta ComRes.

The report has showcased the differences in opinions between men and women, how women perceive their employers, workplace culture and what our industry believe are the barriers holding women back.

Elisabeth Mork-Eidem, group event director at AgriBriefing, commented, “The aim of the survey was to explore the current situation regarding gender diversity in agricultural organisations across the whole agricultural supply chain. The survey results shine an interesting light on how the industry is perceived by those who work in it and shows that there is still work to be done to remove barriers. The industry still needs to act on gender diversity and the benefit will be stronger business outcomes.”

Works need to be done to remove barriers

Women working in ag-tech cited lack of mentors as a barrier to progression more frequently than most, women working in trading agreed the least.

Mark Lyons, CEO of Alltech, said, “We need to create an environment for facilitating conversations; where female mentors can be sought, and to establish programmes within our organisations that facilitate mentorships.”

For the most part, however, the survey shows that the industry is making great progress and employees are feeling positive about the future. Around 58 per cent feel that women are well-represented in the industry and 79 per cent agree that their organisation is becoming more inclusive.

The results of the survey were presented by Mark Lyons, CEO of Alltech at the Women in Food and Agriculture Summit in Amsterdam from 3-4 December 2019.

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