Beef + Lamb NZ marketing manager Julia Gardner will co-chair the NZ leg of the global organisation Meat Business Woman.
Meat Business Women NZ (MBW) has appointed two young and upcoming co-chairs Julia Gardner, marketing manager for Beef + Lamb NZ, and communications adviser Abigail Delaney, to lead the network into 2022 and beyond.
The pair is excited to co-chair the organisation, which is part of the global MBW professional networking movement for progressive women working across the meat industry.
The MBW network aims to drive the transformation of the industry, promote institutional sustainability and attract and retain the best possible female talent.
“As a traditionally male-dominated sector, the industry can be tricky to navigate as a woman,” Gardner said.
The MBW community seeks to challenge stereotypes and highlight pathways forward, championing connection and collaboration.
“It allows women to share knowledge, experiences and find long-term career support.
“Knowing there is a network of women nationally, not to mention globally, makes MBW so valuable.”
Delaney said whether you are looking to be a mentor or be mentored, finding yourself amongst like-minded, inspiring women is extremely empowering.
“It is exciting to be a part of a global network of women who support each other and we’re ready to lead it forward for the NZ meat sector,” Delaney said.
Meat Business Women was founded in 2015.
Co-founder and global chair Laura Ryan said MBW is there to offer mentorships, masterclasses and networking opportunities, while also tackling diversity within the industry.
Having worked in the meat industry for more than a decade, Ryan was struck by the limited number of females in the industry, particularly at board level.
As her passion for the industry grew, she became more and more aware of the lack of female talent outside of family-owned businesses.
Together with co-founder Pamela Brook, she launched the professional networking group to help promote the meat sector as a positive career choice for women.
“The ultimate goal is to assure sustainability of our sector by attracting and retaining the best possible talent,” Ryan said.
MBW has three objectives: to improve the image of the industry to women; nurture new entrants through education and mentoring; and improve networking.
“To achieve a significant, long-term perception shift we need to develop gender and diversity inclusion toolkits and resources,” she said.
Ryan said interest in MBW has grown phenomenally on both a national and international level.
Working with territory partners, MBW has a wide global membership and holds events across the UK and Ireland, Australia and NZ, developing the image, culture, and landscape of the meat industry to make it more attractive to female talent.
MBW brings industry thought leaders, disrupters, and change-makers to its members so everyone can celebrate and share their diverse expertise and experiences via interactive and engaging events.
Events range from meeting and mentoring, all the way to buddying and global story sharing.
For more information and to join the Meat Business Women community for access to all initiatives, mentoring platforms, masterclasses and priority access to events, visit www.meatbusinesswomen.org
For more information about Aotearoa New Zealand’s meat industry and the varied roles within, visit www.meatyourcareer.co.nz