Supporting women in the meat industry

29th March 2021 | Eativity editors

Australian Pork Limited (APL) has announced its commitment to bolster female-driven careers in the pork and wider meat industry, following a Women in Pork online forum that identified key priorities relating to gender inclusivity within the industry.

A survey of industry participants found that 60 percent of women working in the pork sector agree that the biggest challenge they face is feeling accepted and being taken seriously in a traditionally male-dominated industry. They also put forward their key priorities for women working in the sector, including mentoring the next generation and boosting industry opportunities for diversity and inclusion.

Judy Croagh has been working at Western Plains Pork for 23 years, and is also a board member.

To help combat the inequality felt within the pork industry, APL CEO Margo Andrae has announced five key commitments to help bolster female-driven careers in the pork and wider meat industry. These include creating more flexible working environments, increased visibility of women working in pork across the supply chain and creating more inclusive networking opportunities to provide a platform for woman in the industry to connect.

“More and more women are choosing to work in the meat industry, which is why we have announced these commitments to support them on their journey,” Andrae says.

To find out more about the industry and job opportunities, head to australianpork.com.au

Fiona Aveyard of Outback Lamb is a fifth-generation farmer who also holds a degree in agricultural business.

Global mentorship program for women in meat

A new mentorship initiative has been launched to improve career opportunities for women in the global meat industry and help meat businesses to identify and support future female leaders. Created by Meat Business Women, the program aims to enable women working in the meat supply chain anywhere in the world to find a mentor, become a mentor or both.

Meat Business Women works in partnership with meat businesses to remove barriers that stop women from reaching their full professional potential. It’s been officially recognised by the United Nations as a solution to one of its Global Sustainable Development Goals.

“Our research findings suggest that when it comes to inclusion, the meat sector lags behind many other sectors,” says Meat Business Woman founder Laura Ryan.

“A strong mentoring relationship can be transformational for an individual’s career prospects and the meat businesses they work for. Our mentorship program makes it easy for our community around the world to connect, exchange knowledge and gain new skills, while helping meat businesses develop a strong pipeline of talent and future leaders.”

Ashleigh McBean is a fifth-generation butcher, working for the family business, Gary’s Meats in Melbourne.

In 2020, research by Meat Business Women revealed that women make up just 36 percent of the meat industry’s global workforce and hold just five percent of chief executive roles.

“The feedback from our global community is clear: women want to take their career development into their own hands, no matter who they work for or where they are in the world,” Ryan says. “Becoming a member of Meat Business Women is a great way to connect with like-minded peers, acquire new skills and build your domestic and global networks.” 

To find out more or to join, head to meatbusinesswomen.org