International Rural Women’s Day Fixing gender pay gap & extended paternity leave

Influential names in Australian agriculture are setting the standard in narrowing the gender gap in the sector’s leadership ranks.

Twenty-seven government, business and representative organisations are a part of the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program, led by the National Farmers Federation.

NFF President Fiona Simson said Program Partners ranging from multi-nationals to organisations with less than 30 staff, were changing the way they attract, retain and promote women.

“Each year, the Partners of the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program publicly pledge to continue to take make meaningful change on gender diversity within their organisations. Partners report on their progress and their commitments for the future.”

Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program Partners include: AgForce; AACo; AgriFutures Australia; BASF; Bayer; CANEGROWERS; Coles; Cotton Australia; CPC; Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia; FMC; Fulton Market Group, Grains Research and Development Corporation; National Farmers’ Federation; nbn; NSW Farmers; Nufarm; Nutrien Ag Solutions; Prime Super; Rabobank; Rimfire Resources; Rural Bank; Syngenta; WFI and Wine Australia.

“One of the most impactful steps a number of our Partners have taken is to expand paternity leave. Partners report that as a result, more men than ever before have taken up paternity leave,” Ms Simson said.

“Partners have also carried out reviews of salaries, and where necessary, taken steps to close the gender pay gap and focussed on ensuring promotion opportunities for women.”

Today, the NFF and Program Partners celebrate the graduation of the cohort of 11 skilled women who were chosen to take part in the Program’s one-on-one mentoring opportunity. Over five months, the women identified their leadership goals with a mentor and took part in a two-day Introductory Retreat in Canberra and an online Inspiring Speaker series.

The 2021Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program graduates are:

Anna Harrison Mungindi, NSW

Anna Hooper Mitcham, SA

Brei Montgomery Winmalee, NSW

Gillian Fennell Marla, SA

Janice Liu Gosford, NSW

Latarnie McDonald Taradale, VIC

Lucy Staughton Gunnedah, NSW

Miffy Gilbert Glen Iris, VIC

Prudence Cook Dimboola, VIC

Sally Murfet Sorell, TAS

Tracy Sullivan Broome, WA

“These outstanding women join an alumni of 41 graduates, who are today industry leaders and change-makers within their communities,” Ms Simson said.

“I extend a huge congratulations to our 2021 graduates and look forward to following their leadership journey.”

In 2022, the NFF will celebrate five years of the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.

“The impact of the Program is a real increase in the representation of women around the tables where the pivotal decisions are made about our industry and our communities,” Ms Simson said.

“This Program is all about shifting the dial and the evidence is clear that we are doing just that by taking a two-pronged approach: developing the female leaders of the very-near future and providing a framework by which leading industry organisations can commit to, and report on, change.”

The NFF has a goal to double the number of women in agriculture’s leadership ranks by 2030, based on a 2018 benchmark which reported 18% of agriculture’s management positions were assumed by women and 2.3% of CEO positions.

See Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program Partners’ progress on addressing agriculture’s gender leadership challenge here.

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