Eight outstanding women have been selected to grow their leadership ability through the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.
The Program is an initiative of the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and aims to see more women join the senior executive and Board level ranks of Australian agribusinesses and farm-representative bodies.
The below eight aspiring female leaders were selected from more than 120 candidates, to take part in a one-on-one, mentoring program with already-accomplished agriculture leaders.
Amy Cosby – Wattle Grove, Victoria
Brigid Price – Injune, Queensland
Lucinda Hawkins – Dubbo, New South Wales
Mary Retallack – Crafers West, South Australia
Penny Schultz – Field, South Australia
Sally Martin – Young, New South Wales
Skye Douglass – Neumgna, Queensland
Deanna Lush – Palmer, South Australia
The current and first female President of the NFF, Fiona Simson said the number and calibre of the applicants confirmed what she had always known.
“Agriculture has a wealth of untapped leadership talents in its female participants.
“I was blown away by the diversity of the qualifications and experiences of applicants and their approach to what agriculture needs in terms of leadership into the future.”
The inaugural cohort of the Diversity in Ag Leadership Program, hail from regional and urban bases with experiences and skills in disciplines spanning farm management, education, science, natural resource management, exporting, media and finance.
The group will travel to Canberra on 31 May for an introductory workshop where they will be matched with their mentor and attend a luncheon at Parliament House. Keynote speakers at the luncheon will be Agriculture and Water Resources Minister, the Hon David Littleproud MP and former Northern Territory Cattleman’s Association CEO Tracey Hayes.
The Program is supported by partners from Government, leading Australian agribusinesses and farm representative bodies including: Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, AgriFutures, Australian Agricultural Company, Consolidated Pastoral Company, Cotton Australia, NSW Farmers, Monsanto, Rural Bank, Rimfire Resources Syngenta.
Program partners have committed to making meaningful change towards achieving increased gender diversity within their organisations.
“Currently, only 2.3% of chief executive officers in Australian agribusinesses are female, compared with an average of 17% across other industries,” Ms Simson
“In leadership roles, only 13% of representatives are women, compared with an average of 28% in non-ag related industries.
“In its inaugural year, the NFF and our partners, seek to make progress towards changing this,” Ms Simson said.
"I very much look forward to meeting and getting to know our impressive inaugural mentor program cohort in Canberra on 31 May and together fostering increased gender diversity within our industry."
Picture - Sally Martin