Farming industry strives towards gender diversity

Rachel Carson, National Sales Manager, Agricultural Solutions BASF is taking part in the NFF’s Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program

Earlier this year, BASF announced its support of the National Farmers Federation’s (NFF) Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program, which has brought together some of Australian agriculture's most influential organisations through a commitment to increasing the representation of women in leadership positions within the industry.

“For us, diversity means among other things, having people from different backgrounds working at our company who can draw on their individual perspectives and skills to grow our business. Diversity also increases our creativity and boosts our teams’ motivation, performance and power of innovation,” Gavin Jackson, Head of Agricultural Solutions at BASF said.

“While BASF is working on increasing our gender diversity, we also want to support the industries we operate in to embrace diversity and raise the profile of more female role models for future generations to come. Our support of the NFF program is just one of the ways we are helping to contribute to this change,” Gavin added.

BASF is also proud to have one of its own female leaders as one of the ten mentees accepted into the program. Rachel Carson, National Sales Manager, Agricultural Solutions BASF saw her application as an opportunity to help her further develop and provide an opportunity to pursue her passion for inspiring the next generation of female leaders.

“I’m very passionate about mentoring, and mindful of the importance of being a role model for young women to want to pursue a career path in our industry,” Rachel explained.

The NFF recently held a two-day immersive retreat for the mentees in Canberra.

“The retreat was a fantastic opportunity to network with nine other amazing women and learn from a host of guest speakers experience in the industry. I have come away feeling very inspired and empowered to continue to champion the importance of diversity at the key decision-making level” Rachel added.

The participants were given a short course in media training to encourage them to share their stories, and also had the opportunity to spend time with Australia’s first Federal Agriculture Minister The Hon Bridget McKenzie, on her first full day in office.

“It was really insightful to have Minster McKenzie speak with us so candidly about her journey of leadership and discuss her priorities ahead,” Rachel said.

The program participants will graduate in October as part of the NFF’s 40th Anniversary celebrations.

Learn more about BASF’s commitment and the NFF’s program here.

On her first full day in office, Agriculture Minister, Bridget Mckenzie (fourth from left) met with the 10 participants in 2019 NFF's Diversity in Agriculture Leadership Program, during their introductory retreat in Canberra.
From left Kelly Pearce, WA; Linda Lee, NT; Rachel Carson VIC; Natalie Sommerville, SA; Alison Southwell, NSW; Allison Harker, NSW; Cathy Oates, WA; Jacqui Cannon; QLD and Leonie O'Driscoll, NSW. Absent Robbie Davis, SA.