Women play an important role in Canadian agriculture. Women working in the primary agriculture sector occupy positions in every industry from beef to beekeeping, from entry-level workers to farm owners.
But women have a bigger role to play. They make up 50 per cent of the general population, but only 30 per cent of the total agricultural workforce. And when we look at the proportion of women who go on to assume leadership roles, it is much smaller than the proportion of men who do so.
When women are not represented at the leadership and decision-making level, it hurts them and it hurts the entire industry. Numerous studies show that increasing gender diversity improves productivity, profitability, and retention. For the agriculture sector, which faces significant and increasing labour challenges in the coming years, increasing the proportion of women in the workforce at every level is crucial to success.