The Council supports diversity improvements for the industry. Building and maintaining a stable and skilled workforce is one of the biggest priorities for farm owners or managers.
Without the right people, an agricultural operation cannot thrive. But to attract the right people, you need to create a welcoming and inclusive workplace—a place where people of different genders, religions, nationalities, cultures, sexual orientations, languages, and abilities can feel comfortable, respected, and valued. Important work is currently underway to examine and address critical barriers to advancement facing women in the industry in order to support improved access to leadership opportunities and strengthen business success for women working in agriculture.
A comprehensive assessment of the current situation facing women in agriculture was conducted using a gender lens to explore the contribution of women to the industry, the barriers they experience, priority options for improvements, and the effectiveness of current services. This informed the development of the following program and elements:
Supporting Women in Agricultural Leadership Program
• Supporting Women in Agricultural Leadership Site – an online resource designed to capture and disseminate all related information for the women in agriculture community, including links to available leadership position opportunities and leadership training options.
• Supporting Women in Agricultural Leadership Network – CAHRC supports Women in Agriculture groups to enable women to exchange information and develop professionally.
• Supporting Women in Agricultural Leadership Suite – instructive reference materials to support increased advancement opportunities for women. This suite includes guides, checklists, templates and supporting webinars for Boards and training institutions to improve the accessibility of opportunities for women.
The initiative was partnership-based with extensive support and contribution from national and regional associations supporting the agricultural sector, training and education providers, and women’s groups. The work also involved gathering input and feedback directly from women working in agriculture, and the support of an Advisory Group of professionals representing key stakeholders to oversee the project activities and ensure meaningful results.
Through this project, organizations have access to specific tools and reference materials to guide them in removing barriers while supporting women’s participation in senior leadership roles. Finally, women have access to a one-stop, credible forum for reference material, information exchange, networking & opportunities to support their career success.
Through the commitment and involvement of our project partners, along with stakeholders throughout the agricultural industry, this initiative addressed critical barriers to advancement facing women. The project was funded by Status of Women Canada.