1 in 5 women in ag fear remote working could negatively impact their career

More than one in five women working in agriculture fear working from home could negatively impact their careers, according to a major industry survey compared to just one in eight men.

The second annual Women in Food & Agriculture (WFA) Survey was conducted by Alltech in partnership with AgriBriefing and the WFA Summit.

Launched in October, it aimed to collect feedback that empowers the agri-food industry to create a more equitable work environment.

More than 3,200 participants representing more than 80 countries and all sectors of agriculture responded shedding light on the current workplace environment, barriers to success and the outlook for the future.

A spokesperson explained: “For meaningful change to be possible, the conversation itself must be inclusive, so the survey gathered insights from men as well as women

“As 2020 ushered in unprecedented challenges, questions related to Covid-19 reveal its impact on the workforce specifically.”

Key findings

Concerningly, 58% of women said they had witnessed or been the target of a sexist comment in the workplace compared to just 21% of men.

Men and women were just as likely to have seen their income fall as a result of Covid-19. However, women were far more likely to say the pandemic had impacted their mental health. 48.3% said Covid-19 had negatively impacted their mental health compared to just 28.5% of men.

In the survey, more than a fourth (26%) of female respondents indicated that they are the primary caretakers for children or aging parents while working from home.

The figure compares to just 8% of male respondents.

Additionally, 21% of women working within the agri-food industry indicated that they are concerned that working from home will negatively impact their careers. Conversely, 13% of male respondents shared the same concern for their career.

“With the majority (62%) of all respondents agreeing that the industry is becoming more inclusive, there is reason to be optimistic,” the spokesperson added.