A new mentorship initiative has been launched which aims to improve career opportunities for women in the global meat industry and help meat businesses develop a strong pipeline of future female leaders.

Created by Meat Business Women, the programme launches today (March 8), and enables women working in the meat supply chain anywhere in the world to find a mentor, become a mentor or both.

Meat Business Women chair Laura Ryan said: “A strong mentoring relationship can be transformational for an individual’s career prospects and the meat businesses they work for.

Our mentorship programme makes it easy for our community around the world to connect, exchange knowledge and gain new skills, while helping meat businesses develop a strong pipeline of talent and future leaders.

“We have a growing number of female and male business leaders joining the platform to help support our launch.”

Women in the meat industry

In 2020, research by Meat Business Women revealed that women make up just 36% of the meat industry’s global workforce and hold just 5% of chief executive roles.

The mentorship programme will run on a purpose-built, interactive platform. To participate, women must be members of Meat Business Women.

To make the programme as widely accessible as possible, Meat Business Women is offering individual memberships for the first time.

Previously, women could only become members if their employer was a corporate partner of Meat Business Women.

Ryan added:

The feedback from our global community is clear: women want to take their career development into their own hands, no matter who they work for or where they are in the world.

“Becoming a member of Meat Business Women is a great way to connect with like-minded peers, acquire new skills and build your domestic and global networks.”

Meat Business Women conferences and events will also remain open to non-members.

Meat Business Women has the backing of major meat processors including Cranswick; Dunbia; Hilton Food Group; ABP, Moy Park; Linden; OSI; 2 Sisters Food Group; Kepak; and Pilgrim’s UK.

In 2019, it was officially recognised by the United Nations as a solution to one of its Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).