The first agri-food industry survey conducted by the Agri-Food Diversity and Inclusion Forum (AgDIf) has found that just 36% of directors in the industry are female.

The forum is led by Bord Bia and Aon, with the 30% Club and the Department of Agriculture and initially intends to focus on the role of women in the workplace.

Gender diversity

Some 664 individuals and 50 CEOs and senior leaders representing a wide range of agri-food industry figures took part in the survey, with an equal split in participants between the genders.

Speaking at the launch of the survey results, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said: “This survey is important to examine where the challenges lie for both individuals and companies within the sector to determine what steps can be taken to attract, retain and develop a diverse and inclusive agri-food sector workforce.”

Individual respondents highlighted that flexible working was extremely important to them, while 61% said that adequate parental leave was also important.

Some 60% of CEOs said their companies provided paid maternity leave, while only 45% said they offered paid paternity leave.


Recruitment was pointed out as a key issue, with 82% of CEOs saying that they believed their business was challenged in attracting, retaining and developing staff.

Barriers around staff recruitment included lack of suitable applicants and salary issues.

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