Women in agriculture - leadership programme development: research

This report outlines the main findings of research conducted to inform the development of a leadership programme for women in agriculture, which will be funded by Scottish Government through the Women in Agriculture Development Programme.

Annex 1. Topic guide and participant information sheet

Interview topic guide

  • Information sheet – any questions
  • The interview should take around 30-40 mins.

About you and your career

Q. Can you tell me about you and your career so far?

  • − Current job. How long have you held this role?

Q. Have you faced any barriers or challenges in your organisation or sector?

  • − If so, what kinds of challenges?
  • − What changes would you like to see made to address this?

Career development

Q. Thinking about your career so far, what kind of support have you received?

  • e.g. family support, studies, support from manager or organisation
  • − What type of working patterns have you used? e.g. full or part time, job sharing

If relevant:

Q. Can we talk about the career development scheme you've taken part in?

  • What attracted you to the scheme?
  • How was it structured, e.g. time commitment, ways to measure progress
  • Do you think the experience helped you progress in your career?

Q. Which aspects of the programme did you find most useful?

  • e.g. placements, mentoring - how this worked, has it been beneficial?
  • What kind of relationship do you have with others on the scheme?
  • What kinds of support were available afterwards?

Q. What else might help you, in terms of your own personal development or the organisation in which you work, progress in your career?

Your leadership goals

Q. What do you think are the key skills you need to develop in order to progress in your career and achieve your goals?

  • What type of training or support would benefit you?

Q. Thinking about your career so far, have you encountered different leadership styles?

  • Do you think women lead differently to men?
  • If so, in what ways? What impact does this have?

Q. What do you think are the key skills or abilities required to achieve a leadership role?

Women in Agriculture leadership programme

As you know, we're developing a leadership development programme for women in agriculture. We currently expect the programme to last between 6-12 months, with group sessions and one-to-one mentoring.

Q. Thinking about your own experience on a comparable programme, what do you think this programme should include?

Q. What types of skills, training or support do you think are key for women who want to progress in their careers or gain leadership positions?

Q. What do you think can be done to encourage more women in Scottish agriculture to put themselves forward and progress in their careers?

  • What role do you think men in these sectors can play in helping them?

Final questions

Q. Is there anything else you think we should take into account, as part of our work on a new Women in Agriculture leadership programme?

Q. Would you like to receive a summary of the research findings?

Thank you for your time.

WIA Leadership programme research

Information sheet for participants

The Scottish Government is carrying out research into leadership programmes and models suitable for women in Scottish agriculture. This involves doing interviews with women in mid-level and leadership positions in Scottish agriculture about their own careers and their views on what a leadership programme could include.

Why is this research being done?

This research will help us to plan a leadership programme for women in agriculture, following a recommendation by the Women in Agriculture Taskforce (2019).

The Women in Agriculture programme aims to ensure that women are better represented in agriculture and progress to more senior roles in sector bodies. The leadership course will be part of the Women in Agriculture Development Programme, which delivers training and mentoring to support women in agriculture to build their confidence, enhance their business skills, and develop their leadership abilities.

This research will help us to ensure that any new programme is well designed and successful in leading more women to take up leadership roles in Scottish agriculture.

What does taking part involve?

Taking part in this stage of the research will involve a short interview.

  • The interview can be arranged at a convenient time and date
  • It will be done by phone or Microsoft Teams, and will last 30-40 minutes
  • It will be recorded and participants will receive a copy of the transcript

You will be asked at the end of the interview whether you would like to receive a summary of the research findings. After the interview, you will be sent a copy of the transcript to review, and can respond with any changes.

What will the interview focus on?

The interview will focus on the following topics:

  • your career journey, and any barriers or challenges you have faced
  • your experience of taking part in a leadership programme or other career development initiatives, and their benefits
  • the skills, training and support networks that you think have enabled you to gain your current role or leadership position
  • your experiences as a women in a leadership role in Scottish agriculture
  • attitudes towards women's career progression and leadership
  • the culture and behaviour of agricultural boards and organisations
  • your views on how a leadership programme for women in Scottish agriculture could be designed.

What will be done with the results?

This project is being carried out by Scottish Government researchers and the key findings will be summarised in a report. Findings from this research (e.g. quotes) may also be included in other Women in Agriculture reports and publications.

Participation in this research is voluntary. You do not have to participate and have the option to not answer a question. We can stop the interview at any point.

We will not report any identifying information (e.g. name, organisation) and any contact information we obtain will be stored securely and deleted once the research is finished. Any quotes from interviews included in the final report will be attributed anonymously.

Contact information

If you have any questions about this research, please contact Emily.Harris2@gov.scot

Please digitally sign and return this form by email:

Name: Date:


Email: socialresearch@gov.scot

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