Women Leading Ag

by Sara Steever
October 6, 2015

As the female president of an agri-marketing agency, I am in very good company. Many of the agri-marketing agencies have women in the role of president or CEO, and my experience has been one of unwavering support from my colleagues regardless of gender.

But agri-marketing is a unique field for women in the larger sphere of agribusiness. In agribusiness, the number of women in C-level roles does not represent the number of women that work in agribusiness—about 50 percent of the workforce.

Each year, the Women in Agribusiness conference gathers to address this fact in a positive, forward-looking way, by opening up the topic for frank discussion.

At the conference, I found 300 women gathered for the singular purpose of advancing agriculture. They weren’t discussing glass ceilings. What I heard expressed was the need for awareness of the fact that women bring new and brilliant perspectives to the table. And these perspectives are essential in helping all of us solve the challenges of agriculture.

For this to happen everywhere, organizational leadership must make a conscious effort to include those perspectives, regardless of why they have been overlooked.

This was the fourth Women in Agribusiness Summit, and the second one I’ve attended. It’s an amazing opportunity to meet women who are passionate about ag, but are mostly outside of the realm of marketing.

Sarena Lin, President, Cargill Feed and Nutrition, Animal Nutrition, was especially inspiring in urging women to understand that they cannot rely on the competencies that got them to this point in their careers to take them to the next step.

Other topics ranged from value chain strategies to regulation and global politics to shaping a company culture. As diverse as the speaker topics were, the networking conversations came back to meeting the challenges ag faces as the world’s population expands. It’s reassuring to know that so many great, passionate minds are focused on finding solutions.

If you are interested in attending, learn more at womeninag.com.


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