Last year, Australian Pork Limited made a commitment to address the gender inequality that exists within the global meat sector and closer to home, in Australia.
With March 8 marking the United Nations-led International Women’s Day, it was an appropriate time to reflect on the achievements made and cement further work in this space.
To facilitate this focus, APL has proudly joined the international networking group Meat Business Women as a country sponsor – as is Coles.
MBW was founded in the UK and over the past few years has expanded into Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The fundamental objective of MBW is to assure sustainability of the meat sector by attracting and retaining the best possible talent.
By aligning with such a worthy organisation and providing financial and resource support, APL can further amplify and leverage the great work of MBW in Australia to generate change.
MBW states, “The beating heart of Meat Business Women is the opportunity to share valuable diverse experience and expertise at engaging events and interactive mediums.”
In support, APL ran a second Women in Pork event on International Women’s Day, with the aim of profiling some of the challenges and opportunities facing women working within the sector.
APL extends its gratitude to Coles group category manager for pork, ham and value-added meat Rosie Coldwell, Tarree Pastoral co-owner and director Karen Henwood and Rivalea Australia research scientist Dr Jessica Craig for sharing their insights and to everyone who dialled in to participate in the session.
Late last year, APL ran a leaders workshop through the Livestock Collective – bringing together a group of 14 people who work throughout the supply chain to equip them with the key skills needed to deliver their stories in a public platform.
This was essentially to share real sector stories with the wider community, so more informed opinions could be formulated and therefore decisions made about the role the Australian pork sector plays in Australia. APL ensured the group was balanced in terms of gender and age with the intent of supporting the talent and skills of the women within this group, in order to raise awareness of career opportunities in the pork sector and highlight female role models.
APL also reflected on its own internal policies and has increased the number of weeks included in its maternity policies.
APL will continue to drive change from the inside out where possible and advocate for the many women who are and will be working within the pork industry.