“Women only” courses and more flexibility are needed for women in agriculture – says the National Dialogue on Women in Agriculture
Women who aspire to a career in farming machinery should be able to take practical and technical courses “women only”, according to former German Agriculture Minister Julia Klockner.
Omens can take on physical or technical work “just as easily as men, but they need to be supported in doing so,” she told the National Dialogue for Women in Farming in Portlaoise today.
“If we offer more attractive further education courses, also specifically for women, we can open a few doors.
“All-women courses, for example in technical areas such as forklift drivers or agricultural machine operators, have the potential to reach more women.
“In a 2018 international survey, 80 percent of women surveyed said they would like more training opportunities on new technologies.”
The event, which was chaired by former Agriculture Secretary Mary Coughlan and featured a number of guest speakers and panellists, focused on the key barriers women face in the agricultural sector and the changes needed to overcome them.
‘Impostor syndrome’ is one of the main barriers for women to taking up positions within the sector, said Karen Brosnan, director of Nuffield Ireland and co-founder of CERES.
“One of the things we’ve discovered through surveys and mentoring women in general is that they have this belief, ‘I’m not suitable or enough.’
“Being part of a women’s group is a useful place to call out to each other and say, ‘What are you telling yourself?’
“What we need is to overcome our own gender barriers and our own unconscious beliefs about ourselves.”
According to Caroline Bocquel, interim CEO at Bord Iascaigh Mhara, a lack of flexibility within the agribusiness and the world of work in general is another key barrier to women finding their desired position. Employers need to step up and make sure they offer flexible hours and days and make sure they take “family life” into account, she said.
“It’s about having a family approach … away from the traditional role of the woman who does everything.
“It’s about creating appropriate flexibility within the work environment where people work on different workdays.
“From an employer’s perspective, it’s about being very flexible about that and making sure that people’s families and working lives are very different than they were 20 years ago,” she said.
Flexibility doesn’t have to come at the expense of productivity, said Siobhán Talbot, Managing Director of Glanbia Group.
“I don’t think you have to sacrifice productivity for flexibility. We have now introduced ‘smart working’ at Glanbia where we have a lot of flexibility… and it was very important from a talent acquisition perspective.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/women-only-courses-and-more-flexibility-are-needed-for-women-in-agriculture-national-dialogue-on-women-in-agriculture-hears-42323525.html “Women only” courses and more flexibility are needed for women in agriculture – says the National Dialogue on Women in Agriculture