Enabling women working in NZ’s red meat sector

// Industry

This week the world celebrated International Women’s Day on 8 March. B+LNZ used this as an opportunity to recognise some of the initiatives it supports that is enabling women in New Zealand’s red meat industry. Learn more and get involved.

International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women globally. Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) saw this as an opportunity to give a shoutout to the initiatives it supports that enable women in New Zealand’s red meat industry.

Empowering women through partnership with Agri-Women’s Development Trust

B+LNZ is proud to be a strategic partner of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) which empowers women with the skills, confidence and connections and support to create positive change, in their lives -  from the farm to the boardroom. 

AWDT General Manager and farmer Lisa Sims says, “As the challenges and opportunities facing our sector and communities grow more complex and urgent, we need the vision, voices and actions of women – right across the value chain. Over the past decade, B+LNZ has been a vital partner in our work to empower women as agents of positive change for the people and places they care about.”

AWDT's leadership programmes include the Escalator, a 10-month programme leadership and governance programme, Next Level, a six-month leadership programme, and It’s all about YOU, a two-day personal development workshop. Online and face-to-face programmes are offered.

Generation Change is a new one-day workshop and support community for young women to prepare for meaningful work in the food and fibre sector. Know your Mindset. Grow your Influence is an online wellbeing programme for women and men, and AWDT has several programmes that support women and their farming partners to build strong, resilient businesses.

John Ladley, B+LNZ’s GM South Island says, “AWDT’s programmes have had a significant impact in rural communities. The programme is providing support and networks that have enabled women in our rural communities to have the confidence to demonstrate their leadership capabilities. There are a significant number of Alumni from AWDT programmes who are in either governance or leadership roles as a result of participating in AWDT Programmes, this in itself is testament to the quality of the programmes and the impact these are having.”

For more information, visit the Agri-Women Development Trust website.

Meat Business Women NZ appoints two B+LNZ co-chairs

B+LNZ is a Territory Partner of Meat Business Women, a global network for women working in the red meat sector which offers mentorships, masterclasses and networking opportunities, whilst also tackling diversity within the industry.

Meat Business Women (MBW) New Zealand appointed two young and upcoming co-chairs from B+LNZ Ltd and B+LNZ Inc to lead the organisation into 2022 and beyond.
Julia Gardner, Marketing Manager for B+LNZ Inc and Abigail Delaney, Communications Advisor for B+LNZ Ltd are excited to co-chair the organisation which is part of the global Meat Business Women network.

“As a traditionally male-dominated sector, the industry can be tricky to navigate as a woman. Meat Business Women seeks to challenge stereotypes and highlight pathways forward. The Meat Business Women community champions connection and collaboration. It allows women to share knowledge, experiences and find long-term career support,” says Julia.

“Knowing there is a network of women nationally, not to mention globally, makes Meat Business Women so valuable. Whether you’re looking to be a mentor or be mentored, finding yourself amongst like-minded, inspiring women is extremely empowering. It is exciting to be a part of a global network of women who support each other, and we’re ready to lead it forward for the New Zealand meat sector,” adds Abigail.

Read more about the new co-chairs on the Meat Business Women website here.

The industry – businesses and individuals – are encouraged to download the digital resources from the Meat Business Women website, share the campaign videos and post their own #shelookslikeme content.  For more information and to join the Meat Business Women community for access to all initiatives, mentoring platforms, masterclasses and priority access to events, visit www.meatbusinessowomen.org.

An interview with Sirma Karapeena, CEO of the Meat Industry Association

As part of IWD, our friends at B+LNZ Inc interviewed Sirma Karapeena, CEO of the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

Sirma says, “Women in the meat sector are so important. It’s critical to have different perspectives in any discussion. I find that women’s perspectives are accompanied by patience, understanding and empathy. I’ve yet to come across a woman that rushes to a conclusion, instead I find that women generally weigh up the issues carefully and conclude with a practical resolution that meets everyone’s needs, while delivering results.”

“Throughout my career I had to build the confidence to back myself, to know that I’m adding value and to have the courage to speak up. This has come with practice and also the understanding that we all have value to contribute.

When asked what her advice is for the industry to encourage more women she says, “A silver lining to come from Covid-19 has been the adoption of a flexible working environment. Work doesn’t have to fit between the 9am-5pm construct. From my personal experience, I give 110% when at work. But I am also a mother and a wife with family commitments. Having the flexibility to work around those has been critical to my job satisfaction and commitment.

“Above that, we need to support women in their pathway to success. As an industry, we need to allow women to see themselves in senior roles, and to hear their voices in management and beyond. That way you will create aspirational role models for others to emulate. And there are some exceptional young women in the industry we must hold onto and grow for a sustainable future.”

Read the full interview on B+LNZ Inc’s website here.

B+LNZ’s Farmer Council - Supporting women taking leadership roles

Each B+LNZ region has its own Farmer Council where members are elected by local sheep and beef farmers. B+LNZ’s Farmer Council is a great opportunity for women in the industry to take a leadership approach.

Each year, our Farmer Councillors work with our extension managers to develop a regional delivery plan, guiding our work in the regions by advising us on research investment and the most relevant events and workshops to run.

Learn more about B+LNZ’s Farmer Councils and view B+LNZ’s National Farmer Council members on our website.

To vote for your farmer council, join B+LNZ’s electoral roll.

Shepherdess NZ - Telling rural stories

B+LNZ is a sponsor of Shepherdess Magazine from its inception because we know how important rural storytelling is.

Shepherdess Magazine is a print magazine that is written nā te wāhine, mo te whenua; from women, for the land. It is stocked across the country in fifty-seven Farmlands stores nationwide, New World and Pak’n’Save stores in the North Island, as well as Paper Plus and Whitcoulls stores nationwide, and independent bookstores, boutique cafes, and clothing and design stores.

You can also buy online or sign up for a subscription. Visit the Shepherdess website.

Dairy Women’s Network- Ensuring thriving Dairy communities

B+LNZ supports the Dairy Women’s Network, a non-profit organisation that offers a place for women in the dairy industry to thrive, regardless of their role. The aim to create events and initiatives for members to learn and grow their connections, knowledge, and skills within the farming industry.

They offer a range of resources, webinars, and events on their website to learn and connect with others in the industry. To become a member or find out more information, visit the Dairy Women's website.