AgCareers.com presented the webinar, Women in the Agricultural Workplace on Friday, December 11. We were joined by panelists Molly Ball, National FFA Foundation President, and Stephanie Liska, Beck Ag, Inc. CEO. The discussion was propelled with data from AgCareers.com’s new study on Gender Roles & Equality in Agribusiness.
Agriculture has stereotypically been viewed as a male-dominated industry, but we’ve seen tremendous growth in women’s interest in ag, women pursuing career in the industry and enrollment in agricultural collegiate programs.
Eighty-percent of both men and women responding to our survey felt that the attitude toward women in agribusiness had changed for the better in the past decade. However the vast majority of women felt there was gender inequality in agribusiness, while less than half of men agreed. But it was encouraging that both felt there was less gender inequality in agribusiness than in the overall professional world.
Liska mentioned that the feeling of gender inequality is a “choice.” We have the opportunity to choose how we feel and react to situations as a woman in the agricultural workplace. Ball added, “If I’m the only woman in the room, so be it; I’m doing the right thing for the organization and industry I love.”
Women reported feeling the stressors of being a working parent more often than men. In regards to work/life balance, Liska added that you need to consider your personal definition of balance, because it is not the same for everyone. Ball suggested that women need to stop judging other women on work/life balance, no matter if they are a stay-at-home mom, work part-time, full-time, or are the president of an organization.
The panelists were asked for their advice for aspiring women in agriculture, and four themes emerged.
Advice for Aspiring Women in the Agricultural Workplace
- Work really hard at the job you have
- Surround yourself with a great team
- Establish a sense of responsibility
- Respect yourself
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View the survey highlights: Gender Roles & Equality in Agribusiness Survey Highlights
Download a copy of the full survey report: Gender Roles & Equality in Agribusiness Survey Report