Meat Business Women conference develops diversity tool kit

Sheep Central, October 16, 2019

AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson, left, MBW Global founder Laura Ryan, Queensland senator Susan McDonald and Nolan Meats director Terry Nolan at the conference.

A MEAT Business Women conference in Brisbane this week has laid the groundwork laid for a new industry tool kit to deliver practical diversity and inclusion strategies for business.

More than 250 people attended the conference which also called for support from industry, community and government to make more progress.

The conference was headlined by founder and global chair of MBW, Laura Ryan and had a theme of “Changing the culture of the industry.

The speaker line-up included gender diversity advocate Julie McKay, RMAC chief executive officer Anna Campbell, ex-butcher and Queensland Senator, Susan McDonald and inspirational and talented technology leader and founder of Lumachain, Jamila Gordon.

In his opening address, AMIC CEO Patrick Hutchinson said the time for talk about inclusion and diversity is over.

“We now need to deliver practical tools and programs to ensure we make progress and the gap can be closed on diversity, labour shortages and poor retention of women in the industry.”

More than 300 ideas were tabled in an energetic workshop session and these will now form the basis of a toolkit being developed to tackle these issues.

“Everyone in the room had a voice,” Mr Hutchinson said.

The tool kit is due for release next year and will provide practical solutions to help businesses make their workplaces attractive to female talent and keep them there.

“We are committed to providing more events, the tool kit, awards and continued advocacy,” Mr Hutchinson said.

Laura Ryan praised the work the Australian MBW team has achieved in the short time it has been formed. She also shared what the future holds for the group, including further global expansion, commercial partnerships and an international mentoring program.

The Australian meat sector is worth about $30 billion per year to the Australian economy and between direct and indirect roles, is responsible for around 200,000 jobs.

AMIC is the peak council that represents retailers, processors, wholesalers and smallgoods manufacturers and is the only industry association representing the post-farmgate Australian meat industry.

The next Australian Meat Business Women event is scheduled for May 2020.

For more about the event and future Australian events visit

For information on MBW globally head to



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