Gender representation report

Source: Meat Business Women

The meat industry has made progress in improving female representation in senior leadership roles

Women now make up 23% of board-level director roles across the meat sector, up from 14% in 2020, a new global report commissioned by Meat Business Women has shown.

The study by the professional community for women working in the meat sector showed huge progress in improving female representation in senior leadership roles since MBW’s initial gender balance report was published in 2020.

There has also been an increase in women in high level leadership roles, up from 22% to 32%, and middle-manager roles, up from 29% to 32%, the study found.

According to the group, the report highlighted progress across priority themes with positive shifts in how the industry was perceived, repaired rungs in the senior-leadership career ladder, moved inclusion up the agenda and introduced greater access to role models and networks.

Unskilled workforce

But despite this progress, the research has also revealed that only 8% of CEO roles were held by women (up by 3% since 2020) and the number of women in the global workforce has dropped to 33.5% from 36%. And in the unskilled workforce, the number of women fell from 40% to 36%.

Additionally, the report found that the gap between the most inclusive and the least inclusive meat businesses was widening.

“Whilst there is greater disparity in the industry than there was in 2020, there is a huge opportunity for further pre-competitive working on best practice and key workforce policy issues,” said Laura Ryan, founder and global chair of Meat Business Women. “There has never been a more important time to remember that a rising tide lifts all boats.”

The group has said it will be using these latest insights to continue to engage with industry leaders to attract, retain and progress talent at every level, while championing the meat industry as a positive place to build a career.

The report used data from more than 50 major meat organisations employing almost 250,000 staff, interviews with senior HR and operational leaders, focus groups of women working in the industry and survey responses from 400 women and men.