Women in farming and the agriculture sector: research report

Findings and recommendations from research into the role of women in farming and the agriculture sector in Scotland.

Executive Summary

In 2016, the Scottish Government's Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division ( RESAS) commissioned research on 'Women in Farming and the Agriculture Sector'. The overall purpose of this research was to "establish a baseline position on women in farming and the agriculture sector, which then will influence future policies to enhance the role of women in these sectors going forward". The specific aim of this research project is to investigate the role of women in farming and the agriculture sector in Scotland under five headings: daily life; aspirations; career paths; leadership; and comparative analysis with other family businesses.

The research was undertaken by a collaboration of researchers at Newcastle University [1] and the James Hutton Institute. The research was overseen by a Scottish Government Contract Manager, and a Research Advisory Group which comprised of Scottish Government policy officials and a range of stakeholder organisations ( Appendix D). The contractors investigated these topics through literature review, interviews (n=30), focus groups (n=9) and two online surveys: firstly with women who live and/or work on farms in Scotland, and secondly with women who are current students or alumnae of agricultural courses at colleges and universities(1,118 and 148 useable responses, respectively).


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