A GROUP of major agricultural organisations have reaffirmed their commitment to narrow the gender gap in the industry’s leadership ranks, after meeting on Wednesday for a workshop focusing on diversity and inclusion.
The 35 government, business and representative organisations are a part of the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program, led by the National Farmers’ Federation and made this commitment ahead of International Day of Rural Women, which was celebrated at the weekend.
NFF President Fiona Simson said the program partners were making headway towards an industry-wide culture shift with the changes within their organisations.
“Every year, our partners make a public pledge and report on the progress they make on diversity and inclusion within their organisations and every year, they’re creating more initiatives to make sure we’re attracting, retaining and promoting women in the agricultural workforce,” Ms Simson said.
“Being a public pledge shows just how serious we are about changing our industry and making sure women are core to agriculture’s future.”
The partners include:
AgForce; AACo; AgriFutures Australia; BASF; Bayer; CANEGROWERS; Coles; Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia; CNHI Capital; Case IH; Cotton Australia; CPC; Elders; Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; FMC; FMG; Harvest Road; Grains Research & Development Corporation; GrainGrowers Limited; John Deere; McDonalds; New Holland Agricultre; nbn; Nufarm; Nutrien Ag Solutions; Prime Super; Rabobank; Rimfire Resources; Rural Bank; Syngenta; Telstra; Warakirri Asset Management; WFI & Wine Australia.
Ms Simson said the program’s partners were improving flexible work arrangements, expanding paid parental leave, and putting in place policies that empower women in the workforce, like domestic leave.
“Our partners recognise that ensuring equal opportunity in agriculture starts as soon as you post a job advertisement and that why they’re improving their recruitment practices, by removing unconscious bias and setting up diverse recruitment panels.”
But the NFF and partners are committed to looking at other aspects of diversity too. On Wednesday, they met at Telstra’s Sydney HQ to discuss how to make agriculture an inclusive industry for all.
“The NFF’s 2030 Roadmap has a goal to make agriculture an accessible career option for all,” Ms Simson said.
“It’s our responsibility to make sure we are adopting policies that empower and create a culture for all Australians to meaningfully and safely engage in agriculture, an industry with boundless opportunity.”
The workshop included sessions on the many aspects of diversity, including training on inclusive language with ACON Pride in Diversity, Indigenous engagement, allyship for nonbinary people, people with disability and First Nations people, and what good flexible work arrangements looks like for women with University Sydney Professor, Rae Cooper AO.
“Outside of the partner’s commitments on gender, they’re leading the way with policies and initiatives like Reconciliation Action Plans, mental health policies, and cultural awareness training.
“Through the conversations we’re engaging in this program, we’re creating positive change, and momentum that is spreading through entire industry.”
- See Friday’s weekly recruitment article on the gender gap in the ag sector workforce.