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ISSUE 6 2018
NEWS @IrishFoodMag
Supports launched to help
companies to increase diversity
The results of the first agri-food industry survey into levels of
diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the sector was recently launched.
The survey is an initiative of the Agri-Food Diversity and Inclusion
Forum (AgDIf) led by Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board) and Aon, in
partnership with The 30% Club, the Department of Agriculture,
Food and the Marine, and industry representatives.
Supported by the evidence that gender diversity delivers improved
business results, the initial focus of the forum is on women in the
workplace. The survey, developed by Bord Bia and Aon, measures
current levels of gender diversity and inclusion in the sector to
understand present challenges and measure progress over time.
Total responses were split evenly between men and women. At middle
management, men and women are equally represented; however, men
are more significantly represented at board of director level (64 per
cent) than women (36 per cent). Of the 16 per cent of respondents who
reported as being at junior level, 61 per cent were female.
There is consensus among senior leaders and employees that a
combination of increased confidence, knowledge, skill and experience,
and career self-management are critical to achieving gender diversity in
the agri-food sector.
Flexible working conditions are ranked as extremely important (56 per
cent) or important (24 per cent) by 80 per cent of individual respondents.
Family or caregiver leave was considered either extremely important or
important by 62 per cent of respondents, followed by parental leave (61
per cent) and the provision of career breaks (58 per cent).
Most CEOs (85 per cent) reported that their companies offer flexible
working conditions, with 60 per cent providing paid maternity leave.
Although a lesser number of companies, at 45 per cent, provide paid
paternity leave, 15 per cent are interested in learning more about it.
Conducted with both individuals and companies, the survey captured
responses from 664 individuals and 50 CEOs and senior leaders
representing a range of sectors in the agri-food industry including
dairy and ingredients, meat, seafood, prepared consumer foods and
alcoholic beverages.
Pictured with the Minister for Agriculture,
Food and the Marine, Michael Creed (seated)
are: Alastair Blair, country managing director,
Accenture Ireland; Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord
Bia; Majella Darcy, Group HR director, Ornua;
and Ciara Jackson, practice leader, food &
agribusiness, Aon.