After a survey uncovered challenges for female agronomists, the project “Women in Agronomy” was launched as part of Yara’s Diversity & Inclusion agenda. The program connects emerging female talents with more experienced female colleagues, with the goal of attracting, developing and retaining more women in agronomy.
At Yara, we believe that knowledge grows. When it comes to crops, we mean that quite literally. As such, our many agronomists on the ground are vital to Yara’s success.
A global survey among Yara agronomists uncovered a female representation of only 14% out of 800+ employees. It also found that female Yara agronomists frequently face challenges, both internally and when meeting customers and distributors. Although regional differences exist, the results show that breaking traditional stereotypes in the field is a challenge for our female agronomists globally.
“The aim of the program is to help our people to grow as agronomists and develop future leaders. I’m very inspired by the participants’ engagement and I’m confident a good ‘harvest’ is to come, at the end of this first ‘season’.”
Yara is committed to gender equality as one important aspect of the diversity and inclusion agenda and decided to take immediate action. The pilot version of the new “Women in Agronomy” program has so far gathered 60 women across all regions. Through mentoring, networking and visibility channels, the program connects emerging female talents with more experienced female colleagues, building trust and confidence. Rejane Souza is Yara’s Vice President Crop Knowledge and Agronomy, and one of the initiators behind the program.
60 women in Agronomy Program
“We are truly committed to building a more diverse workplace in Yara, regardless of whether you work at our HQ, a production plant or in the field supporting farmers. The aim of the program is to help our people to grow as agronomists and develop future leaders. I’m very inspired by the participants’ engagement and I’m confident a good ‘harvest’ is to come, at the end of this first ‘season’,” Souza says.
Building on the lessons from the pilot, the goal is to expand the network, reaching more female agronomists later this year.
Agronomist Jamie Schechinger joined Yara in 2020. She participates in the pilot and has learnt the value of sharing experiences. “Everyone comes from different backgrounds and has different experiences. What unites us is that we all chose agronomy. This program has helped me see how the growth of one can benefit the whole group if we share our learnings and grow together. This program has highlighted not only how women can work together in a male-dominated industry, but also how women and men can work together to create a more inclusive work environment”.
Diversity & inclusion is anchored in our business strategy. Besides our ambition to have 35% women in senior leadership positions by 2025, we aim for more diversity in Yara in all its forms and for having an inclusive work environment in which employees feel safe to be themselves. With the Women in Agronomy program, we are a small step closer to delivering on our strategy.