Until 1994 women were not legally able to call themselves a farmer. Instead, they were referred to as ‘farmers wives’, ‘domestics’ or ‘help mates’. Even though women have been an essential part of agriculture for centuries, this had done historical damage and made many female farmers in the community feel invisible (1).
Fast forward nearly 30 years, and things have changed. Women have overcome barriers such as the lack of self-confidence and pushing back on such topics as ‘imposter syndrome’ and are changing the face of agriculture. Women make up 55% of the students studying agricultural science at University (2), and they are leading the way with food innovation, entrepreneurship and finance in the ag industry. Here are just a few reasons why women are #winning in agriculture here in Australia:
Women are all too familiar with challenges. Juggling the usual balls of family and work, plus fitting in some ‘me time’, is an uphill battle. When it comes to entrepreneurship, overcoming those challenges in everyday life prepares women for the rollercoaster ride of running a business. Many women entrepreneurs find ways of doing more with less and, quite frankly, just get it done!
It is not a surprise that females are good planners, which is an excellent skill for structuring and organising business and having the foresight to plan ahead.
Never underestimate a woman’s ability to multitask! Being able to work on multiple areas of your business at once is the foundation of entrepreneurship.
Numerous famous women entrepreneurs have a high level of empathy in their business dealings, not just with employees but also with customers. Empathy helps them build relationships and trust.
In a business, it is essential to ask hard questions. Most entrepreneurs shy away from this as they don’t want to become uncomfortable with any answers they might get. On the other hand, women are keen to challenge the status quo and find out what works, what does not work, and what needs to change.
Now more than ever, in this post COVID world, women see the importance of family. Women entrepreneurs tend to design their business models around ‘family time’ and encourage employees to do the same.
Go hard or go home! Women are damn hard workers. Often will work tirelessly to get a job finished and think outside the box to solve problems.
An all-female team leads Farmers2Founders, and we understand that primary producers are juggling even more balls than usual, throwing in drought, fires, remoteness and the 24/7 pace of agriculture. Our team is here to support you and your business at any stage.
F2F has seen first hand how innovative woman producers are. During the recent Ideas Program recruitment, 54% of applications were from women. The standard of applications was extremely high, considering it was post-COVID and the terrible fires and drought our Australian farmers have endured. The quality and high percentage of applications from women is a testament to the determination and resilience of the female founders in the agricultural community.
We have had many successful women entrepreneurs come through our F2F programs and have found success with their business, here is a snapshot of just a few!