Applications are now being accepted for Meat Business Women’s ‘One to Watch’ 2023.

Women who work in the meat industry in Ireland and the UK who are under the age of 35 are being invited to apply before the deadline of July 31. Nominations are also accepted.

The One to Watch award, now in its fifth year, aims to recognise and celebrate young, ambitious women making their mark in the meat industry.

The winner will receive £4,000, which can be used to invest in personal and professional growth, as well as a place at the awards lunch and networking event October 5, 2023.

Previous winners came from Cranswick plc, ABP Ireland, Marks & Spencer, and Morrisons, amongst other organisations, and have used the prize money for initiatives like leadership courses, technical qualifications, and new product development initiatives.

One to Watch 2023

This year’s judging panel comprises Margaret Boanas, chair of International Meat Trade Association; Lucianne Allen, director at Aubrey Allen; Jamila Gordeon, CEO of Lumachain; and Sean Deane, market specialist at Bord Bia. 

Rebecca Fearon, membership marketing manager for Meat Business Women said: “Celebrating young, aspirational women in the meat industry is a passion for Meat Business Women. We want to support the fantastic talent that we know exists in the industry.

“The great thing about this prize is that it gives our winner a really tangible step up in her personal development, and also helps to build self-confidence, which we know can be a barrier for some.

“Feedback from previous applicants is that completing the application form is a great exercise in reviewing personal achievements and celebrating how far you’ve come in your career to date.”

Applications – which comprise a series of questions which make the basis for judging – can be submitted online, and shortlisted finalists will be contacted in August.

Meat Business Women

Meat Business Women is a professional networking group for women working in the meat industry with membership in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It was founded in 2015 by Laura Ryan and Pamela Brook.

Having worked in the meat industry for more than a decade, Ryan was struck by the limited number of females in the industry, and at board level in particular.

Improvement has been made with regards to this since then; according to an independent report commissioned by Meat Business Women, women now make up 23% of board-level director roles, 32% of high-level leadership roles and 32% of middle-manager roles in the meat industry.

However, the report on gender representation in the meat industry in 2023, which was published in May, also revealed that just 8% of CEO roles are held by women (up by 3% since 2020) and the number of women in the global workforce has dropped to 33.5% (down from 36%).