NFU Scotland is seeking views from its membership about engaging women in union work and the perceived barriers for those who wish to get involved.
The survey ties in with the union’s wider work on encouraging more women to get involved at all levels, from grassroots to board level. And it is hoped that through the responses, the union can seek to address any issues women are experiencing when trying to do this.
The survey, open to NFU Scotland members, will run from January 5 to February 13, and can be accessed here.
Gemma Cooper, Policy Manager for NFU Scotland said: “NFU Scotland has been involved in the industry-wide working group which has been organising events for the last few years.
“In addition to this, we have been considering internally what the reasons may be for an apparently lower level of woman engaging with the Union than men and as a result of this, NFU Scotland is now seeking to obtain views directly from its membership.
“I would urge as many members as possible to complete this survey as we are reliant on this to give us a steer on how best to proceed, and we are very keen that this is a membership-led initiative. This is a unique opportunity for woman to make their views heard and make a real difference.
“NFU Scotland has faced criticism for the perception of a lack of woman engaging with the Union and its structures in recent years, and we know that agriculture is traditionally a male-dominated industry.
“We cannot deny that in this day and age the public perception of an all-male Board of Directors and Presidential team is something which some argue is no longer acceptable.
“What some may be surprised to hear is that in reality we actually have 25 women who hold positions on regional boards and head office committees, who help to formulate NFUS policy and thus they are undoubtedly playing a vital role in the direction of the Union. In addition to this we also have 39 women in our head office staff and group secretary network.
“NFUS will be holding a drop-in session on women in agriculture at its Conference on 6 and 7 February, where any member who wishes to discuss this subject is welcome to drop in to speak to us directly. In addition to this, I would urge any female members who want to make their views known to contact either regional staff or head office.”