A first-of-its-kind survey has laid bare the challenges facing women in the agri-food industry and what needs to be done to make the sector more inclusive.
Commissioned by Farmers Guardian’s parent company AgriBriefing and in conjunction with Alltech, the the Women in Food and Agriculture report showcases the differences in opinions between men and women, how women perceive their employers, workplace culture and what they believe are the barriers holding women back.
Elisabeth Mork-Eidem, group event director at AgriBriefing, said: “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 from those who work in it, and shows 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.”
While women are well represented in food and agricultural businesses across the globe - 65 per cent of women and 76 per cent of men agree - that number falls when looking at women in leadership roles in an organisation, with 50 per cent of women and 65 per cent of men agreeing.
When asked if women were respected in their organisation, 59 per cent of men strongly agreed, versus 32 per cent of women.
Results of the survey, which attracted more than 2,500 responses from people working across the global supply chain, were revealed on day one of the Women in Food and Agriculture summit in Amsterdam (December 3-4).
20 per cent of respondents were farmers.
More than half of women (68 per cent) agreed equal pay was an issue, compared to a third of men.
Women working in agri-tech cited a lack of mentors as a barrier to progression.
The report also showed there was some work to do on diversity and inclusion, with only 39 per cent of women saying they knew their company had a policy and 40 per cent unaware one existed.
However, overall, respondents were positive about the future.
Fifty-eight per cent felt women were well-represented in the industry and 79 per cent agreed their organisation was becoming more inclusive.
Ninety-seven per cent of women indicated confidence in their ability to make a positive contribution to the industry and to empower others.
To download the full survey results visit www.wfasummit.com/survey.