We hear a lot about women in ag. There’s everything from Facebook groups, conferences, t-shirts and television shows promoting this demographic. Even the U.S. Bureau of Labor has weighed in on the subject, reporting that women are substantially underrepresented in the agriculture industry.
A 2015 survey conducted by AgCareers.com reinforced the Bureau’s findings, as well as uncovered additional perceptions and realities as they apply to women in agribusiness. 79% of women in ag surveyed felt there was gender inequality in agribusiness. Half of women surveyed said they had experienced blunt sexism or discrimination based on their gender in the workplace. These responses make it clear that employers have a lot of work to do to ensure women are represented and valued in the workplace.
An encouraging data point from the survey was that 80% of both men and women felt that the attitude toward women in agribusiness had changed for the better in the past decade. Add to this the fact that several colleges of agriculture are seeing the scales tip in their student demographics, enrolling more females than males in their undergraduate programs.
So how does your organization tap into this growing pipeline of qualified female talent in agriculture?
• Create benefit packages that are attractive to both genders and communicate these benefits. Women and men differ when ranking the most valuable benefits. Be aware of what women value most. You can dig deeper into this topic here.
• Let go of any unconscious bias you may hold. Expand the talent you “picture” fitting the role. Women are more than capable of loading grain bins or leading a board room of shareholders. Don’t assume that you can predict their career trajectory based on unknowns such as getting married or starting a family.
• Tap in to their drive to achieve. AgCareers.com survey asked, “Do you aspire to work in a higher level role within the next 5-10 years?” 70% of women in ag answered yes! Explain opportunities for growth an advancement within your organization to recruit highly motivated talent.
• Participate in audience specific recruitment events. AgCareers.com will host the Women in Agriculture Virtual Career Fair April 24th. Registrants for this fair are actively seeking roles within our industry and registering sends the message that your organization values this demographic.