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Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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Improving Gender Equality in Agriculture

Featured Article

By Julia Bailey,
Human Resources Lead, Australian & New Zealand

The recent Gender Equality Scorecard produced by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency shows that Australian organizations are failing to maximize female talent. The data tells an all too familiar tale – the gender pay gap sits at 19.9% for full time base remuneration while women hold only 26.1% of key management personnel (KMP) and make up just 17.3% of CEOs.

In agriculture, the statistics are not much better. Women still earn 18.2% less base remuneration than men, who also comprise 83.1% of KMP.

These results persist despite research showing that organizations that prioritize gender equality perform better than those that don’t.

Agriculture, agronomy exprert in wheatSo how are we going to encourage more women to pursue careers in agriculture?

My experience has been that programs and policies alone are not enough to attract and retain women. Organizations must first choose to prioritize gender equality and then maintain this commitment over time.

At Monsanto Australia and New Zealand, the company’s long term focus on gender equality has resulted in women making up half our staff and management team. We achieved this result by establishing a culture in which gender equality is core to the way we do business. This culture is reinforced through visible commitment from senior management over a long period of time and enshrined in company policies on recruitment, professional development and workplace flexibility.

The agriculture sector makes a large contribution to the Australian economy and supports thousands of communities across the country. We believe it is important to highlight the contribution women make to society through agriculture and to ensure their continued role in it.

Attracting and retaining professional and passionate women provides economic and social benefits to farmers and the wider community. Monsanto will continue to contribute to efforts to encourage women into this great sector through collaboration with organizations such as Australian Women in Agriculture.

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