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Empowering Women In Agriculture

17th July 2017

The stereotyping of farmers is changing. In its history, farmers were seen as middle-aged males, whereas women on the farm were stereotyped as the farmer’s wife. As boundaries are pushed, the stereotyping of agriculture is starting to be forgotten.

With farming heritage, many farmers have previously overlooked wives and daughters and passing on the farming to the sons and the males in the family to keep the family name, ensuring that none of its past and family pride is lost. However, there is a profound shift in the culture of agriculture, and that is not only that more women are farmers, but women seem to have more interest in the agricultural sector as a whole.

Farming As A Career

The attraction of farming for females has increased with the technology, business acumen and issues surrounding the industry. It is no longer seen as a back-breaking means to survive; it is a career opportunity with an exciting set of challenges, objectives and goals to achieve. While agriculture has never been a solely independent industry, it has never been more relevant than it is today with issues such as;

  • Health and nutrition
  • Technology and machinery
  • Innovation and engineering
  • Ecology and biodiversity
  • Climate change and soil analysis
  • Business planning and management.

With so many aspects to get involved with, females are embracing the variety that comes with the job and being the leaders in the sustainable farming shift. No longer is farming just a family business; it is a career with big goals that both women and men can thrive on.

As well as an exciting career, it also provides many training opportunities. In UK farming, studies show that females in agriculture hold higher qualifications, with 31% of women obtaining a Bachelor’s degree compared to 19% of males. However, in practical qualifications, men overtake with 47% holding NVQs, whereas just 33% of females hold the same NVQs.

Still, Progress To Be Made

While the gender gap is reducing dramatically in agriculture, there are still areas that need to be brought forward to make the industry a place of equals. A recent survey indicates that only 17% of women in agriculture are the final decision maker, although promisingly, 57% of women do agree that they have an influence on the actions of the farm. 26% of women in farming have no power with decisions on the farm. However, the survey doesn’t state whether this is because they are pushed out, or do not want the responsibility.

Unfortunately, only 10% of women are the final decision makers when it comes to technical decision making on the farm, and 32% of women have no influence at all in technical decision making. However, with grants, schemes and training academies set up to empower females in the agricultural industry, it may not be long until this attitude changes.

Progress Your Career In Farming

If you’re looking for the next challenge in your farming career whether your male or female, then find ample adverts of the latest farming jobs on the Fowler Tull website. You can search a selection of employment opportunities based on your skills and location here; As the world of farming changes, make sure you are instrumental and are leading the way with your agricultural knowledge, skills and passion.