Women make up just 36 per cent of the meat industry’s workforce
An international report has found only 36 per cent of the meat industry’s workforce are women and they are underrepresented at every level above junior positions. Just 14 per cent of board-level director roles are held by women and only five per cent of chief executive roles.
The independent report, commissioned by Meat Business Women, also identified several ‘broken rungs’ in the career ladder preventing women advancing.
Women find it easier to pursue careers in marketing, finance, HR, R&D and quality fields but those are rarely stepping stones to the most senior positions.
Meat Business Women founder Laura Ryan said the report should be a wakeup call.
“Our findings show just how much the meat industry is lagging behind other sectors, including grocery, when it comes to creating workplaces that attract and promote female talent.
“In doing so, it is failing to reap the rewards that come from creating and nurturing a diverse workforce.”
She said companies which have executive committees with at least 33 per cent women have a net profit margin’ over ten times greater’ than those companies with none.
“Fundamentally businesses with diverse workforces are more profitable and have better share prices,” she added.
The report surveyed women in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. It highlighted women were frustrated by the ‘lack of formalised mentoring, networking opportunities and senior female role models’ in the sector.
Ms Ryan said: “The message we are hearing from women in the meat industry is loud and clear: they love the sector, they are excited about the opportunities it offers and they want to help it succeed, but certain barriers exist.
“Together industry and Meat Business Women can break those barriers down.”
She added there were practical steps companies could take to improve gender representation
“It is our hope that the sector uses the insights from this report to better understand how it can create a diverse and inclusive workforce. Meat Business Women is already partnering with a significant number of organisations towards that goal.”