Growing efforts to encourage more women into agriculture

There has been a call for more women to consider a career in the farming sector.

Women's Enterprise Scotland ambassador Lynn Mann says support is needed. Picture: Malcolm Cochrane

Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) cited the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showing that only 17 per cent of the UK’s agricultural workforce is made up of women, but said the gap is narrowing.

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Carolyn Currie, chief operating officer at WES, said: “Innovation and support in developing new business opportunities will be key drivers for the agricultural sector. Women will play a significant role in this.”

She also said WES “will continue to do all we can to encourage more women business-owners into the sector”.

The organisation cited WES ambassadors Lynn Mann, founder of Supernature Oils, and Fiona Turnbull, founder of Fruix Storage, as women working in the sector.

Royal Bank of Scotland earlier this week unveiled a new scheme to support new entrants to Scottish farming.

Mann said that, when she set up her business, “it would have been very valuable to be able to speak with an agricultural relationship manager in those early days and access some expert insight”.

Laura Black, director, agriculture in business banking at RBS, highlighted its new mentoring scheme and said: “We can create an ecosystem that encourages growth and offers opportunities for all Scottish businesses involved in the sector, including those led by women.”

The achievements of Scotland’s female engineers are being celebrated by BT to tie in with International Women in Engineering Day today.

The event is organised by the Women’s Engineering Society to raise the profile of women in the industry, and BT highlighted careers in operations such as frontline engineering, keeping people connected, and switch and transmission roles to maintain its networks.