21st June 2022 – London, UK – Following on the success of the initial launch earlier this year, the WFA Mentorship Program is now accepting applications for a second cohort. Supported through a partnership with Alltech, the program continues to elevate women in the food and agriculture sector by providing participants with an opportunity to cultivate meaningful and mutually beneficial industry connections. Women are invited to apply to participate as mentors, mentees or both. As male sponsorship is valuable in creating a more equitable workplace environment, men are invited to apply to be mentors as well. Applicants are matched based on their preferences, which can include gender, language, and industry sector. Applications can be submitted through 31 July 2022.
Findings from the annual WFA survey consistently indicate that a lack of mentorship opportunities within the industry creates a barrier to success. When WFA and Alltech launched the industry-wide survey in 2019, 63% of respondents believe a lack of mentors is a barrier faced by women in the industry.
To address this issue head on, WFA matched 120 mentors and mentees in February 2021 to support women wanting to develop their careers within the food and agriculture sector. From farmers to CEOs, and scientists to ag-tech innovators, participants were matched with counterparts that complemented their work experience and could support their professional objectives.
In 2022, with Alltech’s support, WFA matched an initial 200 food and ag sector representatives from around the world. The second edition of the program will help accommodate additional applications and the growing interest from industry stakeholders.
“Growing up in the family business, every day was a lesson in leadership, with my father as my mentor,” said Dr. Mark Lyons, President and CEO of Alltech. But not everyone is lucky enough to get such first-hand advice. “Today, as the future of the farm and food becomes increasingly inclusive, women throughout the world are reporting mentorship as a barrier to progress. Through this unique agri-food mentorship program, women will create meaningful connections with individuals who challenge and champion them.”
Elisabeth Mork-Eidem, Global Chair of WFA said: “We are delighted to have Alltech supporting the WFA Mentorship Program in 2022. We know that mentors are incredibly beneficial to support women in developing their careers and this second cohort is extremely timely. We are seeing more women re-enter the workforce following career breaks to support their families during the COVID pandemic. Going into the summer break period we also know women with families often face challenges and conflicting responsibilities with their work and personal lives and having someone to support them in their career goals and aspirations through this time can be so advantageous. The end of the summer is always a busy period for recruitment and career changes too!”
“We’ve had incredibly positive feedback from our first cohort. Many of our mentors joined the initiative as a benevolent act of support but realised they got as much out of the experience if not more than the mentees. This is an exciting opportunity to learn about yourself and develop your skills while being a part of an important initiative and personally support diversity in the food and agriculture industry.”
For those wanting to take part, WFA are looking for mentors of any gender who have at least a year of experience in the food and ag sector. Potential mentees should be women working in the food and ag industry who would benefit from help and support from a senior peer.
Applications are open now. For more information and to apply to be a mentor or mentee go to https://wfa-initiative.com/mentorship-program/
Women in Food and Agriculture (WFA) was launched in 2018 and aims to make a measurable positive impact on gender diversity across the global food and agricultural industry by inspiring people personally and supporting companies in developing their strategies. WFA is an AgriBriefing Brand.
AgriBriefing’s mission is to shed light on the global agribusiness supply chain. We provide a range of benchmark prices, market data and specialist S&D forecasts that allow market participants to plan, manage risk and deliver enhanced ROI across their businesses.
Founded in 1980 by Irish entrepreneur and scientist Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech delivers smarter, more sustainable solutions for agriculture. Our products improve the health and performance of plants and animals, resulting in better nutrition for consumers and a decreased environmental impact.
We believe that inclusion cultivates creativity and drives innovation. The company views gender equality as not only a fundamental human right but as essential to advancing society and the global agri-food industry. It is increasingly important that the agriculture sector perform at its full potential and creating a more inclusive workforce is an essential facet of Alltech’s vision of Working Together for a Planet of Plenty™.