Hi, it’s been a while, how are you? I am sorry I haven’t written for a while, I seem to go into a bit of a hole when the birds are not in. I find it difficult to write, well unless I am pissed up or pissed off. The two generally go hand in hand!
So international women day in March completely passed me by, I have no idea how but it did and some of the amazing people who I have met during my time running the out and about social media accounts said some lovely things about me. Agriculture and the rural economy has to be one of the few places I have found where women empower women, where women celebrate each others’ achievements and where women actively seek to build each other up.
Many of you will have read my blog post ‘integrity’ where I talked about my time in the corporate world and what the final straw was that finally gave me the balls to walk away. What drove me away was the inequality I faced as a woman in a predominantly mans world. As much as the company dressed up the fact they wanted women in the work place and to perform the role I performed, when it came down to it and you couldn’t fit the same mould as a male colleague – there were clear lines.
Having worked my whole life in financial services I will say that now things are progressing in the right direction. I remember a time in my late teens working for a different financial institution where I had to have my entire personal review whilst sat on my line managers knee! So in some respects my last company were an improvement, but in my opinion (if that counts for anything) I feel that the agricultural arena is striding ahead in the equality stakes!
As a female farmer I have never come across someone who doesn’t want to help or is not willing to give advice because I am a woman. If anything, I have been given the upmost respect and often invited to come and watch, listen or learn from fellow farmers as an equal.
If we look back at farming and rural businesses historically women have always been heavily involved, because they have had to be, because that was their livelihood and because without them the farm couldn’t run.
Move forward to the present day and the head of the NFU is a lady; some of the most well known farmers who are flying the flag for British Farming (Emma Foot and Red Shepherdess) are women and if you look at social media you will see the sheer volumes of ladies coming into agriculture in all its different forms.
Nobody knows what the future holds for British Agriculture, we seem to be the easy target for environmentalists, the government and the vegan activists but one thing is for certain we need to keep showing people what an amazing industry it is to be part of. We need to keep building each other up and supporting each other and we need to stand strong against the tide of abuse that is hurled against agriculture.
I would be interested to hear from other woman working in agricultural and rural business . Have I just been lucky with my experiences or do others feel the same?