Research targets women

Dairy Womens' Network (DWN) has launched Project Pathfinder, a programme designed to encourage more women in the dairy industry to take on leadership roles at community and governance levels.

DWN's trust board deputy chairwoman Cathy Brown, of Tauranga, said DWN had received $180,000 from the Sustainable Farming Fund to develop the three-year project in association with DairyNZ and AgResearch.

''We are at the beginning [of the project] and most of the research will be done in year one,'' Mrs Brown said.

One of the first steps was to carry out a survey about dairying women in business and in leadership roles. It finished this month.

''We want to get members' feedback and from that we will develop outcomes and [work on] how we can implement some of them ... ''The survey will give us a greater appreciation of what constraints prevent women from participating.''

She said the survey's initial findings would be analysed by AgResearch, then an implementation plan would be developed and taken to industry groups for feedback, probably by the end of November.

They will present the conclusions and proposed plan for membership feedback at the DWN conference in Hamilton in March next year.

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