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Women In Dairying Should Trust Their Intuition

For Immediate Release 19 April 2004

WOMEN IN DAIRYING SHOULD TRUST THEIR INTUITION

Women attending the Network for Women in Dairying conferences will gain tools to help them trust their intuition when it comes to employing and retaining staff on their farms.

Te Awamutu-based human resources consultant Lee Astridge is leading a workshop at next month's conferences titled 'Valuing Employer/Employee Relationships'.

"Women bring a more intuitive dimension as employers," Ms Astridge says.

"I have some tips to share with the women on how to value their employees and make positive changes to their HR practices on farm."

The Network for Women in Dairying conferences are being held in Invercargill on May 12 and New Plymouth on May 19. More than 400 women are expected to attend the two conferences which have the theme 'Dairy Women Adding Value'.

In Invercargill the conference is being opened by Fonterra Chairman Henry van der Heyden while Fonterra Chief Executive Andrew Ferrier will open the New Plymouth conference.

Ms Astridge's workshop is one of three being held during the day before Cindy Gibbons, best known for her role on the television agony aunt programme 'How's Life?', closes the conference.

Ms Astridge spoke at last year's Network for Women in Dairying conferences on what motivates staff.

"This year the workshop is about how do we demonstrate value to our staff - you can't talk about motivating people without talking about valuing them."

She says this is where women have a valuable role to play.

"As employers' women often bring a dimension to the employment relationship that is different. Women and men have different ways of analysing situations and making decisions.

"Valuing these different perspectives on the farm is crucial to getting the best out of staff and the management team."

Ms Astridge says she is also aware that women attending the conferences need to be equipped with tools for when they return to the farm.

"Women come to these conferences and say 'that was really good, it made a lot of sense'. But they also need to go away with some practical tips on how to actually put it in to practice in their workplace."

Registrations for the conferences, sponsored by The National Bank, Telecom, RD1, Ballance, Ambreed and Gallagher Group, are flowing in.

Network Chair Hilary Webber says about 100 women had already registered for the conferences and many more had requested further information.

"It is the first time the Network has held conferences in New Plymouth and Invercargill and we're expecting they will be sellouts.

"Women are finding the Network is a great way to gain information and support on matters that are of relevance to them. We expect the number of women actively involved in our Network will jump after these conferences," Mrs Webber says.

Further information on the conferences is available on the Network for Women in Dairying website, www.womenindairying.org.nz

Registrations close on April 30.

ENDS

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