Inaugural seminar held for women in the meat industry

Women across the meat industry came together on Wednesday (4 March), for a first-of-its-kind event for females working in the sector.

Taking place at the Academy of Medical Sciences, in London, delegates were treated to an inspirational keynote speech by Rugby World Cup winning captain Katy McLean MBE, who highlighted the importance of teamwork, and learning from your failures.

McLean spoke about her career path into rugby, and the setbacks and achievements she experienced. She said the biggest lesson she learned was that all the big achievements came from going through all the bad bits first.

Her career progression forced her to think about what her particular style of leadership was, and made her realise that, despite being captain, she needed to fit in with what other people needed in order for the team to be a success.

“To enjoy the opportunities you have been given, you have to be comfortable with the feeling of being uncomfortable. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would be at the top,” she added.

The driving force behind the establishment of a skilled women’s networking group, is to enhance relationships within the red meat supply chain and help develop female talent within the industry, as well as highlighting the opportunities available to school-leavers and graduates in order to promote the industry as a career of choice, for example.

The brainchild of the event, Laura Ryan, marketing manager at Eblex (Quality Schemes), said she had witnessed a small but positively growing number of females attending industry events. “I’ve always thought I’d like the opportunity to engage with more of the women in attendance and learn more about their roles through professional networking and this is something I’d like us all to benefit from today and our future sessions,” she said.

“Personally I will class this as a huge success, if as an output we make our industry more attractive to female talent.”

Ryan told Meat Trades Journal that she was extremely pleased with how the inaugural meeting went. “Katy Mclean’s keynote speech was truly motivating and the round table discussion was thought provoking. Most importantly the passion and enthusiasm which delegates displayed for our industry and the will to network with peers to make our sector more appealing to female talent was inspiring.”

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