Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 17

396 women and 152 men of varying ages, job
functions and length of experience in the
global dairy industry, including those working
for processors, farms, farmer cooperatives,
retailers and suppliers. IDFA conducted a
similar, less comprehensive survey early in
2023 to gather insights which were used to
calibrate a more comprehensive State of
Women in Dairy survey.
The survey focused on three categories
of questions: demographic data, experiential
responses and policy-based responses. The
survey included both quantitative and qualitative
questions for responses, with the latter focusing
on perceptions, beliefs and attitudes. Statements
describing experiences working in the dairy
industry were taken directly from long-answer
responses submitted to the online survey.
According to the report, noted areas of
strength in the US dairy industry include
organizations having policies or procedures
in place that prohibit discrimination based on
gender, flexible work schedules and opportunities
for advancement offered by employers.
The survey also revealed reported gender
disparities, particularly in areas of career
advancement, experiences in the workplace,
compensation, mentorship and overall company
policies supporting women. Responses indicate
women in the industry often feel overlooked,
undervalued and underpaid, and that their
ambitions may be misrepresented. The survey
results also highlight a disconnect between men
and women on these same factors.
Much like in the wider manufacturing sector,
the gender pay gap in US dairy is real, and it is
a significant added challenge to women already
feeling disadvantaged in obtaining promotions.
Other key takeaways included:
* Women in dairy report receiving
less support from leaders within
their organizations. Women feel that
increased opportunities for mentorship,
sponsorship and allyship offered by
leaders would help women advance.
* Survey data indicated that women in US
dairy are at least as ambitious as men,
but that they felt their gender plays a
significant role, both past and present, in
their ability to advance within the sector.
* Promotion opportunities and flexible
work schedules are critical factors to
retaining women in US dairy, while men
also indicate an interest in leaving the
sector if promotion opportunities are
not provided.
* Anti-discrimination policies on
gender are widespread, but their
implementation and effectiveness
are unclear to respondents who seek
greater cultural change.
While the study was comprehensive, Rasdall
said she has received feedback that could
possibly help round-out survey results even
further. Some of the suggested improvements
included intentionally seeking more feedback
from plant workers and frontline employees,
ensuring there is better demographic data on the
type of role respondents are in within the sector,
asking respondents whether their workplace
provides access to employee resource groups
(ERGs), and asking whether a respondent has
specifically asked for a promotion before, how
they did it and the outcome.
INSIGHTS FROM LEADERS
A panel of industry professionals spoke during
the " Elevating Women in Dairy " session at IDFA
Dairy Forum about the report and the overall
state of women in the dairy industry. Panelists
included David Ahlem, chief executive officer
DAIRYPROCESSING.COM | MAR-APR 2024 17
Women
perceive that
career growth
in dairy is not
on par with
opportunities
for their male
colleagues. "
Robin Kane, Aurora
Organic Dairy
©Milen-stock.adobe.com
http://www.DAIRYPROCESSING.COM

Dairy Processing - March/April 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dairy Processing - March/April 2024

Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - Intro
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 1
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 2
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 3
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 4
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 5
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 6
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 7
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 8
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 9
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 10
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 11
Dairy Processing - March/April 2024 - 12
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