The National Farmers Federation has today led a discussion with the nation’s leading agriculture-focussed organisations on making agriculture a more accessible career option for all Australians.
The 27 partners of NFF’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program contributed to the online discussion, including: AgForce; AACo; AgriFutures Australia; BASF; Bayer; CANEGROWERS; Coles; Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia; Cotton Australia; CPC; Federal Department of Agriculture, Water & the Environment; FMC; FMG; Grains Research & Development Corporation; John Deere; McDonalds, nbn; NSW Farmers; Nufarm; Nutrien Ag Solutions; Prime Super; Rabobank; Rimfire Resources; Rural Bank; Syngenta; Telstra, WFI & Wine Australia.
The Partners, ranging from multinational corporations to farm representative bodies, have all committed to making meaningful change towards gender diversity within their organisation. Today the group widened its focus.
“The NFF’s 2030 Roadmap has a goal to make agriculture an accessible career option for all,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.
“To do this we need to identify the real and perceived barriers standing between Australians and meaningful participation in agriculture. With critical shortages across the farm sector, we can’t wait a minute longer to do this important work.”
Throughout the day, organisations shared how they were making their workforce more diverse and more inclusive.
“Our Partners are setting the standard in many areas of diversity and inclusion, not just in agriculture but for Australia in general.
“There is real power in learning from one another and that’s what today was all about,” Ms Simson said.
Guest speaker, Diversity Council of Australia, CEO Lisa Annese outlined the clear benefits of having a truly diverse workplace and the typical perceived impediments.
Amber Tratter from the Australian Network on Disability provided advice on how to be a workplace more accessible to people with disabilities. Ms Tratter shared the pork industry’s work with Australians with autism.
Coles’ diversity and inclusion leaders and members of the LGBTQI+ community Tony Dang and Rob More explained Coles’ leading approach on pride inclusivity and fostering ‘belonging’ amongst the supermarkets’ large and diverse workforce.
Ms Simson said agriculture and rural Australia was not a homogenous community.
“As members of that community we all have a responsibility to adopt policies, structures and cultures to achieve workforces that are truly representative.
“It is not only the right thing to do, it is also key to bringing the diversity of thinking and experience agriculture needs to continue to grow and prosper.
“The Partners in NFF’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program are already blazing a trail. As a collective, through the Program, we’re making serious inroads into fixing the deficit of women in agriculture’s leadership ranks.
“Today, we took a first step towards a larger group discussion about making positive change in other important areas of diversity and inclusion.”
Proud Partners of NFF’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program