Women in Agriculture Taskforce: final report
The final report of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce.
Appendix A: Recommendations of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce
- Key Scottish agricultural organisations and businesses must undertake diversity and unconscious bias training to specifically support cultural change and address the imbalance in representation of women in their leadership groups.
- Steps must be taken by the Scottish agricultural industry to develop the skills, confidence and knowledge of women to secure leadership roles in agricultural organisations, ensuring they are perceived as assets to the boards they sit on and the organisations they represent.
- The Scottish Government will develop a Women in Agriculture Development Programme (WiADP). This should be an accessible Programme that delivers training and mentoring to support women in agriculture to build their confidence, enhance their business skills, and develop their leadership abilities. The Programme should be delivered through three specific but independent courses: personal development training, knowing your business, and leadership development. This should lead to a cohort of women ready to further develop their businesses or take up leadership roles in Scottish agriculture.
The Equality Charter for Scottish Agriculture
- An Equality Charter for Scottish Agriculture will be established and mainstreamed into all Scottish Government agricultural and related policies. This will create a platform to support participating agricultural businesses and organisations in their commitment to gender equality.
- By the end of 2022, all agricultural organisations, bodies, and businesses seeking to participate in formal Scottish Government agricultural stakeholder groups must evidence compliance with the Equality Charter.
- The pilot of the Equality Charter for Scottish Agriculture will be assessed by 2022 and the Scottish Government will consider if further intervention measures are needed to ensure the aims of the Charter are delivered.
- The Scottish Government will review the impact of the Equality Charter for Scottish Agriculture by the end of 2027 using the methodology and measures of success developed during the 2019/2020 pilot.
- Rural Training Platform: The Scottish Government will support the proposal set out in the Skills Action Plan for Rural Scotland to develop a suitable digital platform and resource detailing existing education and training provision. This will support a collaborative approach to training provision among partners by 2021. Any resource should also be made available as a smartphone application.
- Agricultural industry influencers, key sector groups and training providers should encourage people, particularly women, to think about what skills they might have to offer, and what market there is for those skills. Identifying and encouraging potential future women trainers must be an integral part of training courses.
- All agricultural training providers must make their training accessible and inclusive and should use the guidance note developed by the Women in Agriculture Taskforce. Training providers must be encouraged to complete unconscious bias training.
- The Monitor Farm Programme must encourage and enable women to participate fully in Monitor Farm activities.
- The Scottish Government and Local Authorities must increase the availability and access to formal and informal childcare in rural areas, to better enable women in the Scottish agricultural industry to engage in training, networking and to develop business opportunities.
- The Scottish Government and Local Authorities must consider how childcare services can be more closely tailored to suit demand in rural areas and costed accordingly.
- Agricultural organisations and businesses must undertake more comprehensive and early planning for succession.
- The agricultural industry, especially at farm and croft and small holding level, must challenge the existing culture that views men as the heirs to the business.
- The Scottish Government, its agencies and major agricultural organisations must promote and encourage innovative routes to access land and capital, to overcome recognised barriers for women new entrants.
- The Scottish Government, its agencies and major agricultural organisations, including education providers, must address the skills gap facing some women new entrants to agriculture in the areas of business skills and confidence.
Health and Safety
- The Health and Safety Executive and Farm Safety Partnership must raise awareness of the health and safety risks to women, and how to reduce the risk of accidents on farms, crofts, and small holdings. Practical solutions must be provided and communicated effectively.
- Manufacturers of agricultural equipment must develop equipment which will improve women’s safety.
- All educational agricultural courses must include an accredited module covering health and safety on farms, crofts and small holdings.
- The Health and Safety Executive should visit rural primary schools across Scotland to education children about health and safety on farms, crofts and small holdings.
- The Crofting Commission must address the perception and potential practice that crofting legislation disadvantages women, particularly in cases of divorce.
- The Scottish Government will review the gender assumptions underpinning how it collects agricultural data.
- The Scottish Government will undertake a full review of the impact of the recommendations contained within this report by the end of 2027.
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