Women in agriculture is a passion of mine that I aspire to make more common within the industry. I want to share experiences and inform others so they can understand our countless qualities that we hold and how important we are in such a huge industry. Unfortunately not everyone sees the importance of women in ag like I do, which is also fair, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Although if you open your views to what I am about to share with you I think that is a great start.
Agriculture can be an incredibly successful industry, yet a totally heartbreaking one at the same time. There are so many highs and lows that agriculturalists have to deal with let alone without the added pressure of media influence, political pressure and gender inequality.
Women have been paving the way to help their farming families earn a secondary income or even working on the property without payment whether that be doing the books so they can save on accounting fees or even manual labour to save on labour costs. Women have also been challenging themselves by doing more study to gain further qualifications, which helps them become more productive and efficient within the industry.
Although sometimes the way that women help the agricultural industry gets scrutinised by both men and women, which has a deterring effect on our confidence as well as our positive focus for the industry. It is an experience that I have personally been through and you constantly underestimate your ability to work in a male dominated industry even if it is your passion and all you want to do in life. It can take a toll on your mental health, which also in turn can impact your physical health and general well-being.
Most people can remember a time when they were belittled or put down by someone who isn't necessarily more intelligent than them, but they felt challenged by a clever young individual. It can deter people from a career they want to succeed in. I also understand that there are many people that you may not get along with, and that's also OK, but it doesn't mean that we have the right to be nasty or unkind to them, no matter what their gender is.
Being The Land Sydney Royal Showgirl for 2019 has given me a platform to stand on to help people understand the challenges that we face on a daily basis because of our gender. I've had the privilege to speak at rural events, which help provide a network to women who sometimes need someone with a different perspective to talk to.
Being able to talk to people and constantly improve ourselves is the best way we can succeed and go forward as an industry. Supporting each other, male or female, is a huge concept that can't be underestimated.