08 Mar 2024
by Meat Business Women

Meat industry leaders pledge action on gender equality

First-of-its-kind roundtable sees leaders agree more progress is needed to improve gender inclusion.

Coming together with Meat Business Women at the first-of-its-kind roundtable, industry leaders representing nine businesses across the meat processing, retail and foodservice supply chain agreed more progress is needed to improve gender inclusion within the sector.

Laura Ryan, global chair and founder of Meat Business Women, said: “Reflecting on the headlines from our 2023 industry research on gender representation, collectively we agreed more can be done. It’s clear the meat industry lags behind other sectors with women only making up 33.5% of the workforce, down from 36% in 2020.

“It is heartening to see such ambition and commitment from senior leaders on how we tackle this important issue. We outlined next steps to develop actionable industry-wide initiatives to increase gender representation,” she added.

“We have agreed to bring together a working group, made up of HR leads from our strategic partners who represent businesses across the meat supply chain, who can help shape a framework that prioritises gender inclusion for organisations within the sector.

“There were some great examples shared and discussed among those present, highlighting where we can take learnings from other sectors and programmes,” Laura added.

“It feels like we can keep up the momentum from today’s roundtable, with an action-focused HR working group being a huge step forwards to jointly affect positive change.”

Attending the roundtable meeting was leaders from ABP UK, Avara Foods, Dawn Meats, Kepak Foods, McDonalds UK & Ireland, Morrisons, Moy Park and Pilgrims Europe, OSI, and Sofina Foods Europe – all partners of Meat Business Women.

Emily Deer, director at Newton Europe who are partnering with Meat Business Women on this initiative, said: “Meat Business Women has inspired us all to reflect on our own experiences, share our insights and consider how we might better work together across the industry on some actions that put gender diversity front and centre.

“Ahead of International Women’s Day, it was encouraging to develop meaningful opportunities to expedite gender equity across all meat sector businesses.

“Working across the globe, Meat Business Women is the right partner and facilitator for our conversations. We need to all help maintain progress in this vitally important area.”

Meat Business Women is the United Nation’s recognised global professional network for women working across the meat industry. It was created to improve the sustainability of the meat sector and grow the pipeline of female talent in this male dominated arena.