ABP has launched a new programme called ABP She which aims to promote gender inclusivity in the workplace and increase career progression.

ABP’s commitments for the next 24 months, as part of ABP She, include using more inclusive language, providing free female sanitary products, reviewing its internal protocol to foster more inclusion and launching an employee assistance programme.

Speaking at the Meat Business Women networking event on Thursday 8 August, Kevin Cahill, managing director of ABP, said: “The ABP She programme is about us recognising the need for the company to be more inclusive with our female colleagues in the business and understanding their needs in terms of progressing in their own career.”

The programme, he said, will enable them to remove any of the barriers that may have been there before and ensure that everything ABP does as a business works with the purpose of involving women in all decisions that are made.

“One of the things that really struck me was something from a UN report where they reported that 75% of the world’s working population are women, over two-thirds of the world’s worked hours are by women, most of the food produced globally is by women and women receive about 10% of the income,” he said.

According to a report carried out by Meat Business Women in 2020, women make up only 36% of the meat industry workforce and are under-represented at every level above junior positions, holding just 14% of board-level director roles and just 5% of chief executive roles.

ABP gender gap

Some 23% of the total workforce at ABP are females, 18% of ABP’s managers are female and 14% of supervisors are female.

“We recognise we have got a little bit of a gap there and it’s something we are working hard on,” Cahill said.

He concluded by saying: “We’re on a bit of a journey here, we want to live the journey not just talk about it. We definitely want to work with our female colleagues, not for them, and we want to promote autonomy and from a personal perspective we want to hold ourselves accountable for all of our behaviour.”