Progress, but more change needed for Meat Business Women

Sheep Central, May 22, 2023

Laura Ryan: “There has never been a more important time to remember that a rising tide lifts all boats.”

THE global meat industry has made progress in shifting the dial of women’s representation in senior leadership roles since an initial ground-breaking report was published in 2020.

A new independent global report has highlighted progress against priority themes, with positive shifts in how the industry is perceived, repaired rungs in the senior-leadership career ladder, moving inclusion up the agenda and greater access to role models and networks.

However, the report commissioned by Meat Business Women has shown the gap between the most inclusive and the least inclusive businesses in the industry appears to be widening, with no industry-wide goals and few opportunities.

Women now make up 23 percent of board-level director roles, up from 14pc; 32pc of high-level leadership roles, up from 22pc, and; 32pc of middle manager roles, up from 29pv.

Despite this progress, the research showed that only 8pc of chief executive officer roles are held by women, up by 3pc since 2020, and the number of women in the global workforce has dropped to 33.5pc, down from 36pc.  Women now make up only 36pc of the unskilled workforce, falling from 40pc.

The report revealed that flexible working is ranked as the number one enabler of gender inclusion in the industry and that to really shift the dial, women and men need to work together to create a more inclusive future. The report sets out best practise against priority themes and provides practical tools for businesses to adopt.

Meat Business Women founder and global chair Laura Ryan said the data shows that inclusion is no longer a “nice-to-have”, but rather a necessity if the meat industry is to thrive in the years to come.

“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.

“There has never been a more important time to remember that a rising tide lifts all boats,” she said.

The Meat Business Women strategy has been focused on shifting the dial on the priority themes of industry perception and gender balance through global campaigns, role modelling, networking and mentoring. With these latest industry insights, Meat Business Women said it will continue to engage with industry leaders to attract, retain and progress talent at every level, whilst actively championing the meat industry as a positive place to build a career.

As well as benchmarking gender balance, the report showcases industry case studies and provides businesses with a proactive checklist to further drive gender inclusion.

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

Meat Business Women is recognised by the United Nations as a contributor to its sustainable development goal to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. This collaboration with the United Nations has culminated in the release of this second global report on gender representation, which is unique to the global meat industry.

The report is available to download at

Source – Meat Business Women.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -