National Farmers' Federation

12 women selected for NFF’s 2022 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program

A group of 12 women with diverse skills and experience and all with a passion for leadership, have today been announced as the 2022 cohort of the National Farmers’ Federation’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program.

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

It is made possible by 33 industry partners, who are making transformational inroads towards more gender-equal workplaces and leadership teams. Partners are also leading a conversation about other areas of diversity, including how agriculture can be more inclusive of diversity of culture and background; Australians with disability and those who identify as members of the LGBTIQ community.

NFF President Fiona Simson said once again interest in the Program was high.

“The applications for this year’s program confirm agriculture and rural Australia are spoilt for choice when it comes to female leadership talent. Importantly, the Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program is providing a pathway for these women to rise to the top of our industry, a pathway that until recently had not been clear.”

Fixing agriculture’s gender inequities is a key target within the plan for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by 2030.

“We set a goal to double the number of women in agriculture’s leadership positions by 2030. The target was set against stark statistics from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency: In 2018, just 2.3% of CEOs in agriculture were women and women made up only 18% of senior managers,” Ms Simson said.

“Logically, the equal input from women in the leadership ranks of agriculture, is at the heart of the sector’s continued growth and vibrancy.”

The 2022 cohort join a Program alumnus of 41 and the NFF’s Women in Agriculture Facebook Community, which established in January now boasts more than 500 members.

The group will come together in Canberra for an introductory retreat during June and then embark on a four-month mentoring program, before graduating at NFF’s 2030 Leaders’ Summit in October.

2022 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership cohort

Rachel Palumbo – West Melbourne, VIC
Olivia Lawson – Clarkes Hill, VIC
Simone Cameron – Katherine, NT
Mary Raynes – Perth, WA
Nicole Byrnes – Pooncarie, NSW
Skye Ward – Bungendore, NSW
Michelle Lench – Wingfield, SA
Anna Playfair-Hannay – Forbes, NSW
Sarah Woolford – York, WA
Sophie Lountain – Orange, NSW
Leanne Rudd – Bundaberg, QLD
Elke Cleverdon – Young, NSW

2022 Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program Committed Partners

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