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New Zealand Commits To More Women In Meat Industry As Inaugural Global Gender Figures Released

New Zealand is committed to getting more women into the meat sector with new research showing women account for only 36 per cent of the industry’s global workforce.

The independent report, Gender Representation in the Meat Sector 2020, commissioned by Meat Business Women, shows women are under-represented at every level above junior positions, holding just 14 per cent of board-level director roles and just five per cent of chief executive roles.

The study also identifies ‘broken rungs’ in the career ladder that prevent women in the meat sector from advancing to more senior roles. It suggests women find it easier to pursue careers in marketing, finance, human resources, research & development and quality fields, however those disciplines rarely act as stepping stones into the most senior positions.

The New Zealand meat sector and Meat Business Women have signed an agreement aimed at boosting the number of women in the industry.

Meat Industry Association CEO Sirma Karapeeva, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd chief executive Sam McIvor and Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc chief executive Rod Slater have signed on as a territory partner with Meat Business Women, which gives New Zealand access to the tools and resources supplied by Meat Business Women to tackle gender imbalance, alongside a position on the Meat Business Women Global Committee to provide strategic input.

“Committing to the global vision of Meat Business Women to create opportunities for more women to enter into, and advance within our sector is the first step to addressing the shortfall of female talent,” says Ms Karapeeva.

“The report highlights a starting point to develop a more diverse New Zealand meat workforce. Women are vital to a long-term sustainable future for both the New Zealand and global meat industry by bringing differing perspectives.”

Meat Business Women founder Laura Ryan presented to the United Nations last year where Meat Business Women was recognised as one of the contributors to their Sustainable Development Goals. This new report was in response to a challenge from the UN to gather insights to create and record impactful change.

“Companies which have executive committees with female membership of at least 33% have a net profit margin over ten times greater than those companies with no women at that level. Fundamentally, businesses with diverse workforces are more profitable and have better share prices,” says Ryan.

Drawing on survey data from five nations, the UK, Ireland, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, the global report identifies five key themes, alongside actionable solutions.

Meat Business Women New Zealand intends to engage its network and the wider industry over the coming months to discuss the report’s findings and identify actions to address the key barriers to attracting and nurturing female talent.

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