Women in leadership becoming normality By Lindy Nelson, AWDT Founder/Executive Director
Democratic process has picked a woman, Katie Milne, as the new President of Federated Farmers. For women around the world, in New Zealand and in our primary industries it’s a great day to celebrate that a woman leads a national farming organisation. It would not have been an easy choice for the Federated Farmers members to make as both candidates - Katie and Anders Crofoot - have shown great historical commitment to the organisation and the agriculture. Both have huge merit and experience. And its merit we need to focus on. Yes, Katie is a woman, and for women interested in breaking glass ceilings there will be some celebration because her achievement sends a clear message that being a woman and leading is achievable and normal. However, I imagine that being female was not the reason why Katie stood for the role. Being female is only her gender. When we focus on gender rather than merit we do women a disservice. While she will appreciate the support in her achievement, I imagine she will want us to focus on her merit as a candidate - the best candidate to lead the NZ agri sector through challenging times. That’s what needs to be celebrated. On the same day as the Feds election took place, AWDT held its annual Governance Forum where our panel of six experienced directors answered some tough questions put to them by 80 people in our industry. When asked about diversity in leadership (on boards and in management) they were in full agreement. Yes, gender diversity is important but diversity of thought is what we need most of all to face the future. I sense a change in the agri sector’s attitude – AWDT is working to change how we see women, how women see themselves as leaders and how the sector utilises this talent- seems to me it’s working. ... See MoreSee Less
AlistairandBernadette HuntGreat post! I was at the Feds Conference and you are absolutely right. And actually that conversation happened among people casually at the conference... It was very clear, and exciting, that the votes for all positions were focused on putting the right people in the roles, not on equality of gender, locality, type of farming, or anything else. So proud to be a part of an organization like that. 🙂 We women have plenty to offer, and don't need or want to be elected to balance the numbers!
Karen RemetisYes overdue. Women are and have been significant in farming and other industries. To see (University of Auckland research june 2017) we remain so disregarded in business shows how the doors remain shut to us. Good result FF.
Agri-Women's Development Trust (AWDT) added 6 new photos.
The big Governance themes of last night’s AWDT Governance Forum held in partnership with ANZ: Conversations are in. Strategy rules. Diversity of thought (not just gender) is needed. Culture is led from the top. Be on a board for the right reasons. Be economical with words. Thanks to our panelists Ben Allomes, Mavis Mullins, John Parker, Dr Farah Palmer, Chris Day and Sarah von Dadelszen for sharing their collective wisdom and experience. Every year new topics emerge with no shortage of new questions and discussion. A fantastic evening and great to see so many Escalator Alumni and industry friends and supporters. ... See MoreSee Less
Grab a coffee and read all about it! Check out the latest NEXT magazine which profiles our founder/leader Lindy Nelson along with two of our graduates – Claire Nicholson and Sandra Matthews. Building networks across NZ has enabled us to discuss how we’re meeting the challenges of primary industries in a premium women’s magazine that reaches a large urban audience (by the way, we think it’s the first time Lindy has been described as a ‘Rural Revolutionary’!). We’d love to hear your thoughts on the article. ... See MoreSee Less
Jo Cribb ex CEO of Ministry for Women and long time supporter of AWDT took her message to the Tedx stage today ... and we were there to cheer her on! In 2017 women are still paid 12% less than male counterparts. If we all agreed to ask our employers this one question, we could change the lives of our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, our friends. "Are women paid the same as men in this organisation?". The challenge is on - will you? @jocribb ... See MoreSee Less