Female leaders urged to step up

Female leaders urged to step up for diversity

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Deanna Lush, Palmer, South Australia is director of consultancy Agcommincators and a graduate of NFF's Diversity in Agriculture Leadership program in 2018.

Deanna Lush, Palmer, South Australia is director of consultancy Agcommincators and a graduate of NFF's Diversity in Agriculture Leadership program in 2018.

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The National Farmers' Federation want to hear from rural women looking to help shape the future of agriculture.

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Women in agriculture with an ambition to shape the future of Australia's food and fibre industry are being urged to apply for the National Farmers' Federation's 2019 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.

For the second year in a row, the NFF is supported by a cohort of agriculture-focussed organisations committed to seeing more women represented in the industry's key-decision making roles.

The Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program provides applicants with a six-month one-on-one mentorship and the opportunity to be a part of an alumni of female agriculture leaders.

Over the course of six months, mentees will work with a specially matched mentor to develop the skills and networks they need to realise their leadership ambitions.

Successful 2019 applicants will also take part in a two-day Canberra leadership retreat during May and graduate in October as part of the NFF's 40th Anniversary celebrations.

NFF President, Fiona Simson, the Federation's first female president, said the success of last year's program demonstrated the appetite for women to pursue industry leadership.

"In 2018 more than 120 skilled, passionate women applied to be a part of the program. Eight successful applicants were chosen, hailing from across the nation and taking in a range of interests and disciplines."

Ms Simson said like many industries, agriculture had 'work to do' to realise gender equality and the benefits that flow.

"Women have been the pillar of Australia's food and fibre production since farming began in this country. Over generations, in line with societal change, women have enjoyed success in all agriculture-related fields from agronomy and education to finance and marketing.

"However, in the senior executive and board level ranks of many of the organisations I observe, there remains a lack of female voices.

"In fact, women comprise 41pc of the agricultural workforce but only 18pc of management roles and 2.3pc of CEO positions."

The 2019 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program Partners are AgForce, AgriFutures, Australian Agricultural Company, Australian Meat Processor Corporation, BASF, Coles, Consolidated Pastoral Company, Grains Research and Development Corporation, Landmark, National Farmers' Federation, NSW Farmers, NuFarm, Prime Super, Rabobank, RuralCo, Rural Bank, Syngenta and WFI.

To be eligible for Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program, applicants must be 25 years or over.

For full application guidelines and criteria visit https://farmers.org.au/campaign/diversity

Applications close Monday 25 March 2019.

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