New program helps encourage women in agri-food industry

The Women in Food & Agriculture Mentorship Program was inspired by results from an Alltech-supported survey on workplace equity

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Guided by feedback from the latest Women in Food & Agriculture (WFA) Survey, Alltech is converting insight into action by partnering with WFA to connect women from across the agri-food sector with mentors to champion their professional success. The Women in Food & Agriculture Mentorship Program will facilitate meaningful conversations and professional development while also providing a valuable networking experience.

“Growing up in the family business, every day was a lesson in leadership,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech. “Mentors, including my father (Alltech founder Dr. Pearse Lyons), were an invaluable resource in challenging and championing my personal and professional development. Although the power of mentorship is evident, and even as the future of farm and food becomes more inclusive, nearly 70% of women working in agriculture around the world are reporting a lack of access to mentors. Through this unique agri-food mentorship program, women will have the opportunity to cultivate industry connections that will empower their success.”

The application process to join the WFA Mentorship Program is open to mentors and mentees through Jan. 31, 2022. Prospective participants can indicate their preferences, such as language, ag sector and regional location. As male champions are an asset in promoting gender equality, men are invited to apply to be mentors as well.

Following the application phase, organizers will match mentorship pairs, who will meet virtually for one hour each month starting in March. This manageable time commitment is intended to support flexibility and accessibility for busy participants. With Alltech’s support, the program is free.

“We are delighted to have Alltech’s support of the WFA Mentorship Program,” said Ollie Theocharous, head of content at WFA. “Their partnership will allow us to take the program to the next level as we further our mission to support diversity in the industry.”

Alltech believes that inclusion cultivates creativity, drives innovation and is essential to the company’s vision of Working Together for a Planet of PlentyTM. In 2019, Alltech selected Gender Equality as one of the nine United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to which the company committed to advancing.

To help guide a course toward meaningful change, Alltech began by listening. In 2019 and 2020, the Alltech-supported Women in Food & Agriculture Survey gathered real-world insights into the current workplace environment and the outlook for the future. The survey results now serve as a valuable reference tool for the agri-food industry as it strives to become more inclusive and to create tangible solutions for the challenges facing women in agriculture.

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