4-H has historically been a male-oriented organization, going back to the early days in Roland, Manitoba in 1913. But, female involvement has grown, with women taking many leadership positions in the last decade or two.
In fact, around 60 percent of 4-H Canada members are now female — well above the average mix of women at many farm meetings.
“We’re hoping that’s an indicator of things to come in the agriculture industry. We have made that transition and we’re hopeful we’ll see it in the industry at large,” says Jennifer Austin of 4-H Canada.
The trend bodes well for the future of gender diversity in agriculture, she notes: “Women are really leading in our organization, and that’s something that 4-H really teaches, so we’re obviously fostering that.”
Austin spoke with RealAg’s Shaun Haney at the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference held in Toronto earlier this month:
- Diversity in the Workplace — Is the Agriculture Industry “Gender Blind?”
- Equal Representation and the Differences in Gender Leadership
- More from the 2015 Advancing Women in Agriculture conferences