New Zealand women's meat industry group launched

A group for women working in the meat industry in New Zealand has been launched, in an effort to attract more women into the sector.

The New Zealand launch of Meat Business Women (MBW) is the latest in a rapid expansion of the organisation which was started in the UK.

The group held its inaugural meeting in Napier, to outline their vision for a positive future for the sector.

General Manager of Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Chair of MBW New Zealand Ashley Gray, said women in the sector are incredibly passionate, and can achieve a great deal. 

"They are forward thinkers, conversation starters, game changers, shakers and movers and I believe, collectively, have a huge role to play in shaping how the meat industry is perceived and operates in years to come," she said.

The group had their first meeting recently in Napier.
The group had their first meeting recently in Napier. Photo credit: Supplied

She said it was understandable that young women looking for a career path could overlook the meat industry.

"I almost was that woman eight years ago, but I've had some unforgettable experiences and opportunities to create change.

I know that if we can develop an environment that attracts talented women into our industry and nurture their development, the whole sector will reap the rewards, " said Gray.

The main objectives for MBW are to develop the image of the meat industry to attract more female talent, and to nurture women through the sector.

"If we want a thriving industry, change needs to happen quickly through innovation, cultural shifts, challenging perceptions and a whole new approach to how we think about our sector. 

Bringing women together to tackle just that, there's a huge opportunity." 

The New Zealand launch is the latest in a rapid expansion of the organisation which was started in the UK by Laura Ryan. 

Ryan said was fantastic to see the group go from strength to strength on an international scale. 

"So many of the challenges and opportunities within the sector span the globe and getting the best possible talent pipeline is definitely one of them," she said.

"Research shows us that having more gender diverse company boards and workforce facilitates enhanced financial performance and governance. As someone who is passionate about the meat industry, I know we can make a positive impact with Meat Business Women."

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