Much of the conversation during the summit referred to the recently released three-part survey, “Changing Demographics and Experience of Women in Agribusiness.” It was conducted by consulting firm HighQuest Partners, Danvers, Mass.
The first part provided baseline data from 181 participating companies along the agri-business value chain.
The second and third parts, which involved 165 companies, examined women’s attitudes and experiences as well as the existing programs for recruitment, retention and advancement.
According to the baseline survey, about 44% of the agribusiness labor force is women. But they account for only 30% of what the report called “commercially focused positions,” such as procurement, production and risk management.
At the executive level, including chief executive officers, women hold only 21% of the positions in small companies and only 6% in larger companies, according to the survey.
On the other hand, women comprise 82% of marketing, administrative and human resources positions.