Celebrating Women in The Meat Industry
According to a 2020 report from Meat Business Women, women are under-represented in the meat industry, making up only 36% and just 14% of board-level director roles and 5% of chief executive roles as they are typically male-dominated positions.
Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to recognising the achievements of women and raising awareness about gender inequality. On a global scale Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland first celebrated International Women's Day in 1911, where more than one million people attended rallies and demonstrations to protest for women's rights and suffrage.
There is still a lot of work to do to achieve gender equality within the meat industry and other male dominated industries. Women continue to face barriers such as unequal pay, limited career opportunities and biases which restrict their full potential in the workforce
Notable women in the industry
Women have played a significant role in the meat industry throughout history, therefore, recognizing their contributions is essential.
Suzie Mather is a fourth-generation butcher and the owner of two butcher shops in Melbourne. We recognized her contributions and vocal advocacy for the role of women in the Australian meat industry. She has worked to promote gender equality in the field.
Fiona Simson is a farmer and served as the first female president of the National Farmers' Federation (NFF) in Australia in 2016. She advocates for increased participation of women in agriculture and rural communities. She has emphasized the need for greater gender diversity and inclusion in the industry, including in leadership positions.
Founders of Meat Business Women, Laura Ryan and Pamela Brook have worked in the meat industry for more than a decade. They were taken aback by the limited number of females in the industry, including the small number of women on the board level. They created a supportive membership community that connects its members to a global network of women in the meat industry and provides mentoring and personal development to thrive in their work.
These women are not only role models for women in the meat industry but beyond.
International Women's Day is an important day to celebrate women. At Country Cooked and University Food Group, we believe in equal opportunities and rights, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion or sexuality. While it's great to celebrate, it's equally important to act towards creating a more gender-equal world. You can make an impact by donating to charities supporting women such as the UN Women National Committee Australia.