Aspiring female leaders with an ag-focus urged to grasp mentoring opportunity

06th Apr 2018

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) President Fiona Simson is urging aspiring female leaders to apply for the chance to take part in a one-on-one mentoring program, tailored to individual career needs.

“If you are over 25 years of age, have an interest in agriculture and a leadership itch you need to scratch, then we want to hear from you.”

The DiALP is designed for women seeking to further their leadership journey and who are interested in connecting with like-minded, ag-focussed professionals.

“Women have been the backbone of our farms since agriculture began in this country," Ms Simson said.

“However their on-farm representation is not matched in the senior executive or board ranks of agribusiness and ag-representative bodies" 

“In its inaugural year, the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program, seeks to make progress towards changing this,” Ms Simson said.

Currently, only 2.3% of chief executive officers in Australian agribusinesses are female, compared with an average of 17% across other industries.

In leadership roles, only 13% of representatives are women, compared with an average of 28% in non-ag related industries.

The NFF is supported in the Program by partners the Department of Agriculture & Water Resources, AgriFutures, Australian Agricultural Company, Cotton Australia, Consolidated Pastoral Company, NSW Farmers, Monsanto and Syngenta

“DiALP partners have joined with the commitment to make meaningful change towards gender diversity and to ultimately position their organisation as an employer of choice for professional women."

Ms Simson said the benefits of gender equality in the workplace were well recognised.

“Diversity in all its forms brings differing views to all aspects of business management from investment, risk, managing people and understanding stakeholders.

“Increasing diversity in agricultural management through increased female representation is not only the right thing to do, it also makes sound business and strategic sense.”

Ms Simson said the DiALP mentoring opportunity would match aspiring leaders with mentors from partner organisations.

“Aspiring leaders will work with their mentor to identify goals and to develop a strategy to achieve their goals.”

To complement the mentoring program, successful applicants will travel to Canberra for two, one-day professional development opportunities with fellow aspiring leaders and mentors, including a trip to coinciding with NFF's flagship National Congress. 

Graduates of the DiALP mentoring opportunity will go on to form part of a valuable alumni of skilled female leaders with aspirations to apply their leadership skills across the agricultural sector.

"I encourage women with an unrealised leadership ambition, to apply to be a part of what promises to be a transformational professional experience," Ms Simson said.

click for larger image