The Scottish government has announced a tranche of measures to support women in agriculture and other traditionally male-dominated fields.
Under the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan, up to 2,000 women in sectors where they are disproportionately underrepresented will receive a share of the funding worth up to £5m (€5.61m) to facilitate their return to work after a career break. Meanwhile the government’s Women in Agriculture Taskforce has announced a package of three training programmes aimed at empowering women living and working in the Scottish agriculture sector.
Launching the initiative at the Royal Highland Show, Scottish Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie said: “We know that women are key contributors to our rural economy. We also know that being a woman in agriculture can be particularly challenging, especially if you have caring responsibilities, develop your business, go to work and look after your family – often in remote or isolated areas. It is because we value women in the rural economy so highly, I am pleased to announce the launch of three pilot training programmes aimed at empowering women to be the best they can be – by supporting them to develop their talents, take up leadership roles, and return to work.”
The pilot training programmes developed by the taskforce are:
- ‘Be Your Best Self’, aimed at helping women build their confidence, make connections and embrace new opportunities;
- ‘Knowing Your Business’, developing women’s performance in business by providing relevant knowledge and skills training; and
- The ‘Women in Agriculture Leadership Development Programme’, encouraging women to take on leadership roles within the agriculture sector and their own communities.
Joyce Campbell, Co-Chair of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce, said: “It’s important for all women living and working in Scottish agriculture to access all of the Scottish government’s available funded opportunities, so that they can enhance their lives and get the most benefits they can for their businesses. These pilot training sessions will help to develop the next generation of women leaders within the agricultural industry, by providing them with the tools and confidence to excel.”