National Farmers' Federation

12 women announced to help close agriculture’s gender gap

Australian agriculture is creating positive change towards gender diversity and the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has a new cohort of women ready to make their mark as future leaders.

NFF President Fiona Simson today announced the next 12 women who’ve been selected for the NFF’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.

“Applications for this year’s program confirms there is no shortage of female talent in agriculture and rural Australia. Furthermore, they represent a diverse range of agricultural industries such as feedlot management, animal science and machinery.”

When the program began, just 2.3% of CEOs in agriculture were women and women made up only 18% of senior managers.

“Since starting this program six years ago, we’re seeing transformational change across industry, not only with more women in leadership positions, but more are pursuing a career in agriculture,” Ms Simson said.

“Results from the 2023-24 Women’s Budget Statement shows 60% of agriculture and environmental studies graduates are women and it is one of only two industries where female graduates earn more than their male counterparts.

“Agriculture is leading the way and I could not be more proud.

“The key is keeping the momentum going as women progress through their careers. That’s where this program fills a gap. It creates pathways for women to rise through the leadership ranks – pathways that previously didn’t exist.”

The program is made possible by the support of 35 leading agricultural organisations. These partners make a public pledge to make meaningful change towards gender diversity in their own businesses and report on their progress.

“Graduates of the program have gone on to become changemakers in agriculture and leaders in their communities and I can’t wait to see what this cohort achieves,” Ms Simson concluded.

2023 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program cohort


About the program

The annual mentoring and networking program is in its sixth year. It is the NFF’s flagship initiative to fix the under representation of women in agriculture’s leadership ranks.

In the NFF’s 2030 Roadmap for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by 2030, the NFF has set a target to double the number of women in agriculture’s leadership positions by 2030.

The 2023 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program participants will meet for the first time in Canberra in June for an introductory retreat, where they will outline their goals, meet their mentors and hear from inspiring speakers. The group will graduate at the NFF’s National Conference in October.

See the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program alumni here.