8th November 2021 – London, UK – The WFA Mentorship Program is now accepting applications for its 2022 cohort. Along with supporting partners Alltech, it will build on the success of the 2021 program to continue to support women in the food and agriculture sector and promote a more equitable workplace environment. Everyone will have the chance to apply to be a mentor or to be mentored as part of this growing program until 31 January 2022.
Every year, findings from the annual WFA survey show how the food and ag industry’s lack of mentors is a significant barrier to progression. In 2019, when WFA and Alltech partnered for the industry wide WFA survey, they learnt that 63% of over 3000 respondents believe a lack of mentors is a barrier faced by women in the industry. To address this issue head on, WFA matched 120 mentors and mentees in February 2021 to support women wanting to develop their careers within the food and agriculture sector. From farmers to CEOs, and scientists to ag-tech innovators, participants were matched with counterparts that complemented their aims and work experience.
The feedback from the initial cohort was overwhelmingly positive and informs the way forward as the initiative continues to provide an enriching mentorship experience for all participants. In 2022 with Alltech’s support, WFA plans to match even more pairings from across the globe from a range of backgrounds and sub-sectors. The growth plans for next year also include additional educational and supportive sessions to better guide the pairings through the year and a new mentor and mentee directory to aid networking with others going through the same program.
“Growing up in the family business, every day was a lesson in leadership, with my father as my mentor,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, President and CEO of Alltech. “Today, as the future of the farm and food becomes increasingly inclusive, women throughout the world are reporting mentorship as a barrier to progress. Through this unique agri-food mentorship program, women will create meaningful connections with individuals who challenge and champion them.”
Elisabeth Mork-Eidem, Chair of WFA said: “We are delighted to have Alltech supporting the WFA Mentorship Program in 2022.This will allow us to take it to the next level and I would encourage everyone to sign up.”
“We’ve had incredibly positive feedback from our first cohort. . Interestingly, many of our mentors joined the initiative to offer support to women in our industry but realised they got as much if not more out of the program as the mentees by learning about themselves and developing their skills. This is an exciting opportunity to be a part of and an important initiative to better support diversity in the food and agriculture industry.”
For those wanting to take part, WFA are looking for mentors of any gender who have at least a year of experience in the food and ag sector. Potential mentees should be women working in the food and ag industry who would benefit from help and support from a senior peer.
Applications are open now. For more information and to apply to be a mentor or mentee go to www.wfasummit.com
Women in Food and Agriculture (WFA) was launched in 2018 and aims to make a measurable positive impact on gender diversity across the global food and agricultural industry by inspiring people personally and supporting companies in developing their strategies. WFA is an AgriBriefing Brand.
AgriBriefing’s mission is to shed light on the global agribusiness supply chain. We provide a range of benchmark prices, market data and specialist S&D forecasts that allow market participants to plan, manage risk and deliver enhanced ROI across their businesses.
Founded in 1980 by Irish entrepreneur and scientist Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech delivers smarter, more sustainable solutions for agriculture. Our products improve the health and performance of plants and animals, resulting in better nutrition for consumers and a decreased environmental impact.
We believe that inclusion cultivates creativity and drives innovation. The company views gender equality as not only a fundamental human right but as essential to advancing society and the global agri-food industry. It is increasingly important that the agriculture sector perform at its full potential and creating a more inclusive workforce is an essential facet of Alltech’s vision of Working Together for a Planet of Plenty™.